This online news article was written by Alan Harris for The Coventry Telegraph on the 12th November 2014.
Westwood Academy pupils visit WW1 battlefields
TWO pupils from The Westwood Academy gained a greater insight into the First World War after visiting the battlefields of France and Belgium.
Year 11 pupils Tia Turbitt and Emily Shaw joined history teacher, Helen Dalglish, on the trip organised as part of the Government’s ‘Remembrance of WW1’ project, which involved schools from across the West Midlands.
Tia and Emily said: “The first place we visited was the Lijssenthoek cemetery in Belgium where we saw the graves of soldiers who died in the military hospital after fighting at Ypres and Poperinge.
“After visiting the graves of many notable people including Nurse Nellie Spindler, who was one of only two women buried in Belgium, we also searched and found the grave of a soldier called Private R. Philpott who was from Allesley in Coventry. He was killed in action on October 12, 1915 while serving in the Middlesex Regiment, aged just 25.
“Later that day we also visited the Menin Gate cemetery where we saw and listened to the 8pm daily rendition of the Last Post and this very moving ceremony allowed us to reflect on the lives lost and the debt we owe to these very brave and courageous people.
“On the second day we went to the Somme and visited the Thiepval Memorial which allowed us to see the names of those people lost in the Somme and whose remains were never found. To end the day we went to the Ulster Tower where archaeologists had spent time digging and preserving the trenches. It was sad to hear that recently while digging close to the site, the remains of two soldiers who had died in the battle of the Somme were discovered; the identity of one is still classified as unknown.
“On our last day we went to Tyne Cot cemetery , near Passchendaele, where pupils from the Westwood Academy were specially chosen to write a message and lay a wreath on the grave of an unknown soldier. “Finally we went back to Ypres and created a clay memorial which represents a soldier who died in the Great War which will form part of a living memorial to be completed in 2018, 100 years after the end of the war.”