On 1 October the UV travelled to Ypres, Belgium to begin our first day of the much anticipated Trenches trip. Despite the very early start, we were more than ready to start the tour at the beautiful Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Our guide, Alain, was very informative and interesting, and despite the serious topics we discussed, he even managed to provide humour with his seemingly endless supply of stories and anecdotes from his time as a soldier. Next on our tour was the Bayernwald German trench system and at the end of the day we visited the Menin Gate for the incredible and moving Last Post Ceremony. After a long day, we stopped for dinner - and more importantly chocolate shopping(!) - before heading to our hotel.
Our second day saw us visit the Somme, where we learnt about the First World War battle that saw more British casualties than any other. We also travelled to our first and only German cemetery and the yawning Lochnagar crater. The final stop of the trip was to Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme, where we had a poignant reflection of what we had seen and heard over the two days. Overall, the Trenches trip was enlightening and inspired all of us to value the importance of freedom. Many thanks to the teachers, in particular Dr. Tullis, for organising this fantastic tour!