Skip to comments.World War I centenary: Pupils to visit battlefields (UK)
Posted on 06/10/2013 8:43:48 AM PDT by the scotsman
'Two pupils and a teacher from each state school in England will be sent to visit French and Belgian battlefields to mark the World War I centenary, the government has said.
They will be asked to research local people who fought in the war as part of the £5.3m government-funded scheme.
A four-year £50m centenary programme will also include a candle-lit vigil at Westminster Abbey on 4 August 2014.
It will end at 2300 BST - exactly 100 years after war was declared.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said pupils sent on the battlefield trips, which will take place between spring 2013 and March 2019, would be able to "pay tribute to the fallen, to understand the scale of the suffering inflicted by the war to end all wars".
"Above all, these visits are a reminder that the First World War is not ancient history but a shared history that unites our country," he said.
"All of us have some connection with the conflict. No community was untouched by a family tragedy."
Culture Secretary Maria Miller, announcing the "national acts of remembrance", referred to a remark attributed to then-foreign secretary Viscount Edward Grey at the announcement of the war that "the lamps are going out all over Europe".
"A hundred years later, we will extinguish the last candle in Westminster Abbey to commemorate that hour as a mark of respect and remembrance that will set the tone for the events to come," she said.
She also revealed the vigil would be preceded on 4 August 2014 by wreath-laying at Glasgow's Cenotaph and at a military cemetery in Mons, Belgium, where British and German soldiers are buried.
She said the war saw "huge suffering and enormous sacrifice and our centenary programme will mark it with both sorrow and pride, as is fitting".'
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Everyone should visit the battlefield memorial at Verdun. It’s creepy and a terrific reminder of what happens when individuals blindly obey the will of another.
Finally a government-funded scheme that I can agree with.
It's also a reminder of how valiant the average French soldier was. "Surrender monkeys" they were not.
As much as I dislike the French, they proved forever in that war that they’re willing to stand and fight when they’re pissed off.
About six years ago I visited the WWI museum in Kansas City, Missouri. One of the best museums I have ever seen.
I recommend all FREEPERS who travel in that area to stop and visit. It is impressive.
Unfortunately my skeptical nature says that this will be turned into a state-paid for trip to the bars, taverns, high-end restaurants and houses of ill-repute in the guise of historical visits.
“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help!”
In 1966, I visited Fort du Vaux on the Verdun battlefield, a fortification that fell to the Germans only after its defenders ran out of food, water and ammo. As we were leaving, we noticed that one of the visitors had a pile of 75mm shells next to his car--he had apparently dug them up. My mother checked the back seat to make sure none of us had smuggled one of the shells into our car.
Since my French is weak, we visited with a English-speaking tour guide. He mentioned that bones were still rising to the surface in many areas. When he said that, everyone gave me a look, as if I was going to drop to my hands and knees and start digging like a dog.
Made me wonder what sort of reputation I have...