25th June 2018
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The SIII Battlefields Tour was another fantastic success this year. 46 pupils visited a variety of WW1 cemeteries, memorials and sites to further their understanding of the tragedy of war. The tour 'experience' immersed the two companies of the 15th Battalion St Columba's Pals in the mindset of the soldiers of the Great War, following their recruitment in 1914 through to being demobilised in 1918. Highlights included walking through the preserved trenches at Sanctuary Wood, standing at the glorious Canadian Memorial at Vimy, following in the footsteps of the soldiers on the first day of the Battle of the Somme at Newfoundland Park, gazing at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, and attending the Menin Gate ceremony. Pupils were also able to participate in a number of private ceremonies of remembrance, and a particularly poignant act was when the school held its own service of remembrance, complete with readers, pipers and the laying of a wreath. School pipers played at a variety of memorials sites and did an outstanding job on the march down to Tyne Cot from the Passchendaele ridge, something which, along with the constant singing of the soldiers’ songs on the bus, will remain in the memory.