Gad’s CCF celebrated the centenary of the end of the First World War on a five-day road trip to Belgium and France.
The 32-strong contingent followed a time-line of World War I, finding out what life in trenches was really like for the troops.
During the five day expedition the cadets visited the Belgium town of Ypres which is surrounded by battlefields which play host to the many cemeteries, memorials and war museums.
After being destroyed in the war, many important buildings were carefully reconstructed, including the Gothic-style Sint-Maartenskathedraal (St. Martin’s Cathedral) and its soaring spire.
Ypres was one of the sites that hosted an unofficial Christmas Truce in 1914 between German and British soldiers.
Cadets learned about the Battle of the Somme while visiting the ‘Valley of the Dead’ and paid their respects by laying a wreath in the location where 35,000 unknown soldiers are buried.
They also had the opportunity to explore the tunnels and trenches of Vimy Ridge, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, where the Battle of Arras took place.
Downtime included exploring the many town centres, where the group stayed in hostels and also a tenpin bowling tournament, won by a very modest Major Lamb!
Gad’s Contingent Commander Major Mark Lamb said: “This was once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to experience the massive sacrifice by the British and our allies to secure the freedom they now enjoy – and to ensure the memory of those who gave their all the future generations: ‘Lest we forget’
“Our cadets are outstanding ambassadors for the school and I am extremely proud of their exceptional conduct.”
Major Lamb went on to thank the accompanying staff Mrs Gunnill and Mr Selby-Bennetts and also former Gad’s parent, Sgt Ian O’Grady, of the Cadet Training team, for organising the event and acting as our tour guide.