On Wednesday 31st January a group of Year 9 students from The Royal Harbour Academy travelled to the Kent County Showground for an immersive day, learning about the experiences of soldiers who fought in the trenches of WW1, to support their in school study of the subject.
The students were the guests of the Centre for Experimental Archeology based at the site and who have developed an exact replica of a section of WW1 trenches that was built along the Belgian section of the Western Front during the conflict. Students were first given presentations by leading WW1 experts, Andy and Janice Robertshaw, on the diet, equipment and uniform of the British Tommy, as well as the medical procedures and developments that occurred throughout the course of the war. Students were given the opportunity to handle genuine WW1 equipment as well as trying on various bits of the kit. After lunch, students were then given not only a guided tour of the trench but also the opportunity to test out the recreated light railway system that would have carried supplies to the front line.
All students had a fantastic time and as well as being tired and muddy on the coach trip home, took away valuable lessons about the Great War. Year 9 RHA students, Leila, Grzegorz and Charlie, were asked for their views on the day. Leila commented “The best bit of the day was exploring the trenches and seeing first hand how difficult it would have been to live there for any length of time. It is something that I won't forget” whilst Grzegorz said, “It was a really enjoyable day. It was really good to be able to handle objects that were in the trenches with the soldiers”. Charlie gave praise claiming it “was the best trip I have ever been on!”
Both Andy and Janice were excellent hosts and noted that “The students from RHA were fantastic. We have never seen a group have as much fun and it was refreshing to see students learning through play which is something that we rarely see. They are welcome back anytime!”.