In March 2018 Manchester City Council, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and UCL's First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme will be collaborating to commemorate what is known as the ‘Battle of Manchester Hill’ which took place on the 21st March 1918.
Schools from across Greater Manchester are being invited to participate in one element of this commemoration, specifically a fully-funded battlefield visit to France and Belgium in March next year.
The historical context
Very briefly, the battle involved the 16th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (1st Manchester Pals) defending high ground near the town of St Quentin in northern France. The defence of the position resulted in huge losses for the battalion. Of the eight officers and 160 men who went into action, just two officers and 15 other ranks survived. Most of the men who were not killed were taken prisoner. Those who fell were not just from the districts of Manchester itself but also most of the towns in what is now Greater Manchester, and the regimental depot was in fact in Ashton.
The commemoration of this battle next spring will involve a regimental parade in Manchester city centre, a service of remembrance at Manchester Cathedral, an exhibition at the Central Library as well as a unique battlefield visit, and we would like schools in Manchester to be part of it!
The free battlefields tour (18-21 March 2018)
The battlefield tour is being organised by UCL Institute of Education who operate the government-funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme. This tour is fully-funded for two students and one teacher and has been running since 2014. So far, the award-winning programme has taken representatives from nearly 1,500 schools to the battlefields of Ypres and The Somme to huge critical acclaim and now it is your turn to take part.
The programme consists of 3 elements:
- Free UCL Professional Development for the attending teacher (CPD)
- Free 4 day tour of some of the most iconic sites on the former Western Front battlefields, including Manchester Hill
- Opportunity for your students to take part in a unique WW1 Centenary commemoration in France and then complete a region-wide post-tour community project to share their experiences with the wider community
In addition, the tour will be accompanied by a battlefield guide, a serving member of the Armed Forces and a UCL educator who will work together to create an inspiring learning experience for your students. On 21st March 2018, the tour party will visit Manchester Hill, exactly 100 years after the famous last stand.
If you would like your school to be part of this unique and exciting opportunity, all you need to do is register your interest by visiting http://www.centenarybattlefieldtours.org/account/register/ quoting ‘Manchester2018’. Places are limited so please register by 28th October 2017.