YOUNGSTERS will walk in the footsteps of the fallen from the First World War on a trip to the Somme battlefields.
Year Five pupils at Stapenhill’s Edge Hill Junior School will lay a wreath at the Thiepval Memorial on the trip during the February half-term holiday.
The group of 45 pupils and six adults will also visit the Somme 1916 museum in Albert, where they can cast their eyes over uniform, equipment and photographs from the period.
The school led a similar trip last year, when 26 children visited the same sites in the Picardie region of France.
The Thiepval Memorial, opened in 1932, is the largest British memorial in the world, bearing the names of those who died on the Somme between 1915 and 1918.
Senior teaching assistant Sue Ellington, who is leading the trip, told the Mail the trip would take on extra significance because 2014 marks the centenary of the war’s outbreak.
She said: “I think it’s quite important that the children go because they do not realise how many people were killed. It’s good for the children to see that.
“Last year we were surprised about how moving the trip was for them.
“It’s moving because you just see the list of names and ages of them.”
The trip to the battlefields is part of a ‘French experience’ tour in which the pupils will also visit a chocolatier and Disneyland Paris.
The pupils, who study French as part of their curriculum, will also be encouraged to practice the lingo with the native population.
Mrs Ellington said: “The pupils have studied French for four years and so they will have the chance to try out the language while they are there.
“The trip is a good chance for them to experience the French culture and their way of life.
“They can try the French food and it’s good to see the children flourish in a way they would not usually do in school.
“They are all really excited and buzzing about going.”
The group will leave on Monday, February 17, and return on Friday, February 21.
They will stay in the Chateaux Broutel in the village of Rue, which has been converted for use by school groups.