The Tours

During their four-day, three-night tour every group visited key battlefield sites in Belgium and France (the Ypres Salient and the Somme), sites of commemoration and memorial (including The Menin Gate and the Thiepval Memorial) and carefully selected museums (such as the Memorial Museum Passchendaele and the Armistice Museum at Compiegne).

Allied soldiers drinking tea outside a bunker in the First World War

In addition, tour groups (typically consisting of schools from a particular city or geographic region) visited sites which have resonance with their local area (e.g. The Sheffield Memorial Park at Serre). This provided the tour with a distinctive feature and allowed schools the opportunity to further develop their First World War enquiries in situ.

Life in the trenches
Australian Signallers

“The Battlefield Tours Programme has exposed thousands of young people to the iconic sites of the Great War. It continues to provide a high quality learning experience for students and educators geared at improving understanding of the tumultuous events unfolding a hundred years ago and promoting reflection on their consequences.” The Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Special Representative for First World War Centenary commemorations, 2019

Developing Skills

A key aspect of the tour was to develop students’ curiosity and research skills. Students were encouraged to discover’ aspects of the First World War which are important to their community and typically ensure they make a profound personal connection to this compelling history.

Black and white photographic portrait of a World War 1 officer

During the four-day tour the UCL Institute of Education team also work in close association with experts from the Guild of Battlefield Guides and the British Army (e.g., serving soldiers participated in every visit).

Troops fighting at the Battle of the Somme, July 1916