An opportunity has come up for one student in Year 11 to take part in a ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres in Belgium to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War. It will involve the gathering of soil from the battlefields of Flanders which will be incorporated into a new Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks in London, very close to Buckingham Palace. The trip would take place from Saturday 9th – Monday 11th November. All expenses would be paid (including travel by Eurostar) but you would need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you would like to take part, please write a letter explaining why and hand it in to the History Office by 11am on Friday 4 October. You must check that an adult can accompany you on the trip first!
For more information about the itinerary, please click below.
Flanders Fields Memorial Garden – « The gathering of the soil »
· Between 23-27 september: gathering of the soil by the Belgian schools with the CWGC (cfr. List of schools and cemeteries provided by Sanna Joutsijoki) – collection of the sandbags and stocking at central depot (CWGC)
· Twinning British and Belgian schools (co-ordination Flanders House London & co-ordinators GO!/VSKO/OVSG/
· Between 1- 4 October: building up the display in the Lakenhalle - collection of the sandbags at central depot CWGC and transport to Lakenhalle – presentation of sandbags in Lakenhalle (City of Ieper – technische dienst) – Flowers/poppies (Tuinbouwschool)
· 3rd October: sandbags on display in Lakenhalle – press moment – display till 10th November
· Saturday 9th November:
Departure British schoolchildren with parent or teacher from London (or other central spot) – transport via Eurostar – arrival in Lille or Brussels – welcome by schools and hosting families. Programme and accommodation is provided by the schools
· Sunday 10th November:
Visit to Ypres and surroundings, or programme put together by the schools (if too far from Ypres). Lodging is provided by the schools.
· Monday 11th November
09:20 Arrival schoolchildren/teachers/parents Ypres Station
09:30 Arrival schoolchildren/teachers/parents Cloth Hall (visitors center)
10:00 Visit In Flanders Fields Museum ( 150 people )
11:15 Guided visit of the City of Ypres ( 8 guides )
13:00 Sandwich lunch schoolchildren/teachers/parents in the Fenix Hall
Belgian Army transports the sandbags from Lemahieu Barracks to the Menin Gate and takes up position (dark brown)
14:00 Departure schoolchildren and parent/teacher from Fenix Hall to Menin Gate, where VIPs have arrived
14:15 Arrival schoolchildren teacher/parent and positioning in area S (yellow) with Belgian Military
Departure The King’s troop RHA, The Guards and the Band of the Coldstream Guards from The Cloth Hall
14:30 Arrival members of the Royal Family
Last Post by the trumpeters of the Last Post Association
Minister –President goes forward and does the exhortation – back to VIP position
One for one the cemeteries are called (commentary NVDM & A Wallis) – schoolchildren with Belgian soldier carrying a sandbag bring the bags to the gun crew and hand the bag over – the gun crew positions the bags on the gun carriage – Choir sings “When I am laid in earth”, Dido&Aenaes, H.Purcell – when all the bags are positioned a union flag is draped over the gun carriage
Reveille by the trumpeters of the Last Post Association
Guards take up position flanking the gun carriage
15:45 VIP’s form up behind the band – the band walks off and plays soldiers songs (Tipperary, …) guests walk behind band to The Cloth Hall – children and parent/teacher go back to Fenix Hall for hot chocolate and cake
17:00 Transport to Lille for Eurostar to London.
· After 11/11/2013
The sand bags are being brought to Zeebrugge where they will leave for London on 29 November on the fregat Louise-Marie. In London they will be transported on to the British ship Belfast. This ship is sailing into London to the Wellington Barracks (next to Buckingham Palace, head quarters of the Royal Guards). When entering London, Tower Bridge will be lifted especially ! The sand bags will be stored at the Wellington Barracks until the opening of the In Flanders Fields Memorial Garden on 11 November 2014.
On 11 November 2014 the gathered soil, together with the texts from the British and Belgian school children, will be scattered at the Memorial Garden. The British and Belgian schools will be invited to this ceremony.