On Friday 29th November, the senior pupils of Northbourne Park School visited Ypres in Belgium for the Christmas Truce tour.
They met a WW1 ‘recruiting sergeant’ who was keen to persuade them to sign-up for the British Expeditionary Force followed by another sergeant who talked them through a new recruit’s kit including rifle, puttees, helmet, and the famous trench coat.
For lunch, they tucked into a trench meal made up of vegetable stew and Belgian sausage. Later at Plugstreet Wood cemetery, the tour guide showed us the location of trenches where the truce between German and English soldiers took place. At the Hooge Crater Museum, they re-enacted the truce and our pupils joined in with a rendition of ‘Silent Night’. After an evening meal in Ypres town, the tour culminated with the Heads of School laying a wreath in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, the memorial for over 54,000 soldiers who died in Belgium and have no known grave.
Christie Riley, Head of History said: “All the children were exemplary throughout the day and I am sure this tour has had a powerful impact on them, often raising more questions than answers.”
Northbourne Park School is an independent co-educational day and boarding preparatory school for children aged 3 – 13 years. Northbourne Park aims to develop articulate, confident and happy children, inspiring in every child the confidence to succeed. Northbourne Park School has an excellent record of academic success supported by a renowned emphasis on developing other skills (modern languages, sport, music and leadership activities) that equip children for success later in life.
Situated in the beautiful Betteshanger estate, the school is set in more than 100 acres of parkland and woods. Close to Canterbury, Kent’s ferry ports, 1hr from London and within 30 minutes of Ashford International rail station, Northbourne Park is the most convenient prep school for France and Belgium.
The schoolʼs language programme was founded in 1990. Children spend up to two years at Northbourne Park usually between the ages of 11 and 13. They can then return to their studies in their home country or may choose to stay on and progress further in the UK education system.S
For more information on the school, please contact the Headmaster, Sebastian Rees or School Administrator, Jackie Jones on 01304 611 215.