Dunblane High Battlefields Trip 2017

Just another blogs.glowscotland.org.uk – Stirling site

May 15, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Passchendaele

Passchendaele is a name which is synonymous with horror. Today we witnessed the end result of the third battle of Ypres more commonly known as the Battle of Passchendaele.

Essex farm was first stop this was where John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields” which was great to hear read at the actual place where it was written.

Poelkapelle cemetery where some 95% of the 6500 graves are unknown here we picked a soldier to remember and placed a poppy on his grave.

We moved on to Crest Farm where the Canadians finally captured the ridge after many months of bitter fighting, both A & B companies marched to tunes played by the company pipers.

This took us to Tyne Cot cemetery the largest British military cemetery in the world. here we laid a wreath at the grave of Private George Wilson who was born in Dunblane.

We followed this up by a visit to the very somber Langemark German Cemetery again we laid two crosses one with a Red Poppy the other with a German forget me not.

The day ended with two remembrance ceremonies, the first the world famous Menin Gate ceremony and the other a very private and reflective ceremony with Company A at Polygon Wood and Company B at Poelkapelle.

May 14, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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The Somme.

This morning we visited the infamous Somme battlefield, we heard how the Newfoundland regiment was slaughtered 40% even before they reached the front line.

Y Ravine cemetery was a place of special significance for Duncan Glen who laid a cross at the gravestone of his Great Great Uncle J Milne.

Both A and B companies had group photos taken at the 51st Highland Division memorial.

WE saw Hunters cemetery which is where many Scottish soldiers were buried in a shell hole.

Thiepval memorial was our next port of call where there are the names of 72 thousand British soldiers who’s bodies have never been found.

Robyn Kennedy laid a cross here at Thiepval too.

We visited Dartmoor cemetery where we saw the grave of the oldest man to die on the Western Front, Lt Harry Webber was 67 when he was killed, there was also the sad sight of a father and son killed on the same day and buried side by side.

At Poziers Jamie Partridge laid a cross for a relative.

At the Arras memorial we remembered two young Dunblane men who are commemorated there and where Jessica Francis laid a school cross in memory of a relative.

Our final visit of the day was to the Canadian national memorial at Vimy.

May 13, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Ypres & Messines Ridge

Company A started the day at Hill 60 the scene of horrific fighting throughout the war, hill 60 was also the scene of a massive underground mine explosion where thousands of German soldiers died in an instant.

The British and German lines were only some 90 meters apart.

Some of the company A troops on the old British front line.

Next up was a visit to Sanctuary Wood where the trenches are still in place exactly as they were at the end of 1918 here we walked in the footsteps of thousands of British troops, we even walked underground through a tunnel network.

The fantastic Hooge Museum was very informative and the troops had the chance to purchase “bullets” and other souvenirs. From there we had a brief stop at Black Watch Corner.

The afternoon saw company A at the Pool of Peace, which was the site of Spanbroekmolen Mine, again the sight of a massive explosion, leading up to the 3rd Battle of Ypres today the site is a place of real peace and calm.

Messines Ridge was our final stop where we heard the fantastic story of Monsieur Albert who spent a great deal of his time in getting the bells which Napoleon stole replaced in the bell tower of the rebuilt church, we also learnt that the crypt of the church was used as a field hospital by both the British and Germans at differing times, we also heard that it was here that Adolph Hitler’s life was saved after he’s been wounded rescuing his officer from no mans land.

Tomorrow we head to France and the Somme

May 12, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Day 1: Ypres via Dover and Brugges.

Following the call to arms the 9th Dunblane Pals deployed to the Western Front, battalion morale is very high.

Bright sunshine greeted the pals upon entering Brugges,

Where a lunch of chips and mayonnaise restored sagging sprits.

A very tired 9th Dunblane Pals rolled into billets in Ypres tonight following an overnight coach trip and ferry from Dover.

It looks as though an early night for the troops is needed before we move to the front line at Messines tomorrow.

May 11, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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This evening.

Just a quick reminder that the coaches will depart at 2030 prompt, please aim to be at school between 1930 and 2000 at the latest.

Remember to pack a lightweight rain jacket in your rucksack and also anything else you may need for the journey to Ypres should be in your rucksack.

Don’t forget food and fizzy drinks are not allowed in the coach at anytime, no 2kg bags of Harribo please, although water is permitted.

Please have some small change in Euros if possible, cents and €1 coins, the toilets in Brugges charge 50 cents.

Don’t forget to pack your wellies in a separate bag.

All trip participants must wear their hoodies at all times when travelling and on the actual visits to battlefields and museums.

May 10, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Departure Thursday 11th May.

Today I’ve had quite a few pupils asking what time they should be at school on Thursday evening.

The coach will be leaving the school at 2030 prompt, if you are late we will not be able to wait for you.

You should aim to be at school for between 1930 and 2000, certainly no later than 2000.

Please remember to pack everything you need as per the kit list. Wellies should be in a separate bag which will be stored in the luggage hold of the coach until required. Cases will also be held in the luggage hold until we reach the hostel a tea time on Friday so please don’t pack anything you’ll need during the journey in your case.

There are still a few pupils who have not handed in EHICs if you haven’t done this then you may need to have personal travel insurance.

Please ensure you bring a lightweight showerproof jacket for Friday afternoon and something warm to wear in the overnight coach.

May 10, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Weather forecast. Brugges Friday.

There’s a 60% chance of rain during the time we are in Brugges on Friday, see weather forecast link above.

As you son/daughter will not have access to any jackets or coats stored in their case/holdall, may we suggest that they bring a lightweight rainproof/showerproof jacket in their rucksack/overnight bag, and carry this with them whilst we are in Brugges.

May 9, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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3 days to go!

The 9th Battalion Dunblane Pals, will be deploying for service overseas at 2030 hours on Thurday 11th May.

The coaches will leave the school at 8.30 pm prompt, we cannot wait for stragglers as the coach drivers have set driving hours they must stick to by law, and we have to be in Dover for a set time in order to catch our ferry. Please try to be at school between 7.30pm and 8pm certainly no later than 8.00pm.

Several parents have opted to allow the daughter/son to carry their own money on this trip, and this is of course acceptable, however the school staff cannot be held responsible for any loss or excess spending early on in the trip.

Please note that although your child is covered under the authorities insurance scheme, this does not cover them for illness before or during the trip, and we recommend you take out personal single trip travel insurance. For those of you still to hand in EHICs please do so asap.

When packing kit for the trip, as previously intimated Wellingtons are important, but also please ensure your son/daughter packs a bath towel (and perhaps a hand towel) as these are not supplied by the hostel.

May 9, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Passports,EHICs and Pocket Money

This is just a reminder to all parents and guardians that all Passports, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) and pocket money (in a sealed envelope with the full amount and pupils name and PSR class on the front), must be handed into the school by the end of this week.

Please note it is a requirement that your child hands in a valid UK or Schengen Area passport (EU or Norwegian), if your child does not hand in a valid passport they will not be allowed to travel on the coach.

Pupils in 1K1, 1K2 & 1R1 should hand these in to Mr Denny.
Pupils in 1R2, 1S1 & 1S2 should hand these in to Mr McMenemy.

We also recommend you take out single trip travel insurance for your child (children), over and above the EHIC and Stirling Council insurance scheme.

April 25, 2017
by Mr McRobbie
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Passports and EHICs.

Please ensure that you hand in your child’s passport and current EHIC by Friday 5th May at the latest.

Pupils in 1K1, 1K2 and 1R1 should hand these to Mr Denny and pupils in 1R2, 1S1 and 1S2 should hand theirs into Mr McMennemy. Both of the teachers can be found in Social Subjects. Passports and cards will be held in the school safe until we leave.

Please note: your son/daughter will not be allowed to depart on the coach unless we have their passport and EHIC.

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