History students commemorate the First World War

Once again, the History Department has participated in the Royal British Legion’s campaign to remember the fallen of the First World War, and plant a poppy at the Menin Gate.

The Bicester School poppy will be planted alongside thousands of others in the 2017 Flanders Field, beside the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, close to the area that saw the heaviest fighting and where many of the British soldiers would have marched past on their way to the front line. It was here that the flowers continued to bloom, despite the shelling and fighting, inspiring one of the most famous war poems ever written; ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae.

The Menin Gate memorial is the only place in the world where the fallen of the First World War are remembered every day throughout the year. Each night at 8pm the traffic is stopped while members of the local fire brigade sound the Last Post under the memorial’s arches.

The Memorial to the Missing marks the route that tens of thousands of men would have taken as they moved to the front line. The walls of the memorial are inscribed with the names of 54,395 men who fell and whose graves are not known.

The History staff and students have chosen the following inscription to be included with their poppy: “For those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, with gratitude. May we never forget.”

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