children from a boys school in Chesham with a veteran

The Battlefields Event 2021

22 October 2021

Students looking at documents with care

The Battlefields Event 2021

This week, our Year 8 boys have been learning about WW1. We explored everything from war poetry, Black History to gas warfare.

We discussed how poetry played a crucial part in telling the story of the war, delving into the personal feelings and fears of the men, as well as the overall reflections of the conflict.

Following the theme of Black History month, we have been looking at the life of Captain WDJ Tull and the role of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We investigated the different types of cemeteries and memorials that they look after, not just on the Western Front but worldwide, and all conflict since 1914.

On Thursday, we ventured into London on a wonderful day trip visiting the Imperial War Museum. Our boys focussed on discovering the WW1 Gallery and The Ashcroft Gallery, which showcases over 150 recipients of both Victoria Crosses and George Crosses. The trip was a fascinating educational experience. Our boys particularly enjoyed reading the truly inspirational stories featured at the museum.

On Friday, our boys learned about the Christmas truce of 1914. They then worked as a team to recreate it. After a short walk to Willsfield, we divided into two groups representing England and Germany to sing ‘Silent Night’ in both languages, followed by an exchange of gifts to represent the handing over of rations. After the gift exchange, our England and German teams challenged each other to a friendly match of football.

To round off the activities, we discussed the Battle of the Somme that took place on the 1st July 1916, learning about the sacrifice’s men made for our country. And finally, we explored the development of gas warfare. We had a variety of sample gas masks that the boys could pass around and try on to gain a good understanding of the development of the masks during the war. Our boys very much enjoyed dressing up in a uniform from the period.