Woodford Green schoolchildren trace steps of former pupils in First World War battlefield trip

Pupils from a Woodford Green school travelled to First World War battlefields to commemorate soldiers killed in action, including a former pupil, at the weekend.

Year 11 pupils from Bancroft’s School travelled to Ypres Salient in Belgium and the Somme in France to retrace the steps of British soldiers.

They visited sections of the trenches, the Flanders Field Museum and attended the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, where the names of 55,000 missing soldiers are inscribed.

On Remembrance Sunday, the group laid a wreath commemorating former Bancroft’s pupil John Outram, who was killed in action aged 22 in 1917.

Pupils read Siegfried Sassoon’s poem Aftermath as a tribute from the class of 2012 at the ceremony in the cemetery at Tyne Cot.

History student Katie Rogers, 15, said: “This weekend has really brought home the horrendous conditions these men suffered in the trenches.

“It was shocking to see just how many of these brave soldiers have no graves and how many unmarked graves there are. “We saw the grave of the youngest casualty, Private Strudwick, who died aged 15.

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“It’s sobering to think that he was only my age when he was killed.”