Avon Valley students pay respects at Belgian memorials - The Rugby Observer
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Avon Valley students pay respects at Belgian memorials

Rugby Editorial 14th Nov, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

RESPECTS were paid to the fallen by two Avon Valley School students who visited the battlefields of Belgium.

Year nine students Rhiannon Ryan and Sophie Crane visited the memorials of those who died in action on a four day residential visit as part of the First World War Centenary programme.

The girls won a competition run by the school asking students to submit an essay based on the First World War.

They visited locations including Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries at Lijssenthoek, Langemark, Thiepval Wood, Mill Road and Tyne Cot on their European trip.

Accompanied by a member of staff, the students learnt about the conflict during workshops and visits to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum and fitted in trips to the battle sites at Vimy Ridge and the Lochnager Crater.

The pair also witnessed the last post ceremony at the Menin Gate, where Sophie was selected to lay a wreath at the event where people express gratitude for those who fought for freedom.

“To be given the chance was a truly moving, once in a lifetime experience.” she said.

And an unscheduled stop at the Vlamertinghe cemetery allowed Sophie to visit the grave of a relative.

She said: “Seeing my Great Grandma’s cousin’s grave stands out as a highlight of the whole trip.

“It was such an experience, one I’ll never forget. I’d like to say thank you for such an amazing opportunity and I’d recommend anyone to visit in the future.”

The Institute of Education and Equity ran the £5.3 million programme on behalf of the Department of Education, which aims to allow two students from every UK school to visit war sites.

Student Sophie Crane paid respects to a relative at their grave (s).

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