This week, Year 10 History students have been visiting the Somme Heritage Centre as part of their study of the First World War.
The tour began at the munitions display; budding historians had the opportunity to handle a variety of artefacts from the Great War including different Allied and German grenades, bayonets, shell casings and medals (including the Widow’s Penny that was sent to the families of those who had died in battle). The boys impressed our guide with their knowledge of World War One weaponry; several students also had the opportunity to operate a rifle which would have been used in France at the time.
Next was a tour of the main exhibition. Year 10s heard extracts from speeches designed to encourage young men to join up before heading to the recruitment office to try on officer and corporal uniforms. Along the way, the guide pointed out items that had been donated to the museum from local people. We heard the poignant story of a young nurse who had looked after those who had been injured at the Front. Students were particularly interested in the reconstructed trench; they experienced a sense of the noise and cramped conditions endured by soldiers on the Western Front. The visit concluded with a short film about the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916.