fb-pixel Battlefields Trip 2024 - Mill Hill Schools


Battlefields Trip 2024

It was a great pleasure to revive the Fourth Form Battlefields Trip after a five-year post-Covid hiatus. It has almost been a rite of passage for our young historians down the years, many of whom find it a profound experience. And so it was that we visited the key sites that had populated the trip for decades. Comparing physical evidence presented by trench systems in different sectors of the front with statistical evidence about the composition of the British Army from the cemeteries we visit, all interwoven with the personal accounts of Old Millhillians who fell and are named on various tablets and headstones is a rich mix of history.

The highlight of the trip is the Somme visit, where the centrepiece at Beaumont Hamel is a preserved battlefield from 1916. The ritual laying of crosses with photographs of the Old Millhillians who fell is also a very moving experience, the greatest number of which are placed at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Another poignant moment was provided by Olivia C (McClure House), who read the citations of several Jewish soldiers who died in the War after placing a Star of David on a Jewish grave in Essex Farm, yards away from where John McCrae wrote his famous poem In Flanders Fields.