WREATHS were laid in memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War during a Horsforth School visit to Belgium and France.

Fifty Horsforth students and six teachers visited battlefields and laid wreaths at sites including the Menin Gate in Ypres, the cemetery at Tyne Cot and the Lochnagar Crater near Albert.

The trip held personal significance for year 13 student Ethan Wright who has played a major role in the school’s First World War commemoration. He said: “My involvement in our WW1 remembrance work means I’ve learnt about my two great great grandfathers Robert Burns and Reginald Wright who gave their lives in our country’s service in 1917 and 1918.

“My friends Joe, Jake and Nathan and I have been proud to lay wreathes in memory of these men at the Lochnagar crater on the Somme and at the Menin Gate in Ypres. We are also pleased that activities like bag-packing have raised about £1200 for military charities.”

Students also visited the Thiepval monument to the missing of the Somme where young adult interns working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission gave explanatory talks. A particular highlight was learning about the contribution Australia made to the allied victory during a visit to the Sir John Monash memorial centre adjacent to the National Australian memorial at Villiers-Bretonneux.

Horsforth teacher James Bovington said:”This was the third and final school visit to theWW1 battlefields for Ethan and his mates, and I’m impressed by their ongoing commitment to honour the men of Horsforth and elsewhere who gave everything in this country’s service.

“I am keen to lead these trips so that our young people understand the key role that our country has played in the major events in Europe over the past century and which we hope that they will have the opportunity to continue to do so despite the present political climate but hopefully in a more peaceful way than did their forefathers.”

He added:”We’re now arranging a trip to Normandy in August 2019 to allow students to learn about the WW2 D-Day landings.”

The trip has enabled the school to build relationships with groups such as the Friends of Lochnagar Crater.

In an online message a spokesman for the group posted: “Horsforth School have visited the Crater three times and have sponsored plaques and are supporters of this special place. Today we gave a short talk on the Crater and evolving remembrance. What a great school they are. Attentive, interested and respectful.”