Upper Five visit the Trenches

Wycombe Abbey UV on the Trenches Trip 2022

The ‘Trenches Trip’, as it is affectionately known, is a Wycombe Abbey institution, with many Seniors often saying it is one of their favourite memories of their time at School. After an unwelcome disruption of several years due to the pandemic, September 2022 saw the return of this beloved trip, with 102 pupils and staff visiting the battlefields and memorials of Belgium and France.

After mustering at 4.30am, two coaches set off for Ypres in Belgium, led by our favourite guides from Anglia Tours. Day one saw pupils exploring a German trench system, visiting Essex Farm where McCrae was inspired to write In Flanders Fields, and Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest Commonwealth war grave in the world. That evening, after a much-deserved visit to a Belgian chocolate shop, eight girls took part in the poignant Menin Gate ceremony, laying wreaths on behalf of Wycombe Abbey.

On day two we set out for the Somme. Groups walked across no-man’s land to wait in the sunken lane before setting forth for the summit of Hawthorn Ridge, home to a huge crater caused by an exploding mine on 1st July 1916. One coach headed to Ulster Tower, while the other visited Newfoundland Memorial Park. Both ended up at the Thiepval Memorial, taking part in an act of remembrance before doing what the men listed on the memorial could never do: go home.

Neill George
Head of History

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