Carter Community School’s Omar Samer and Sebastien Engeli-Tombs helped mark the centenary of the end of the First World War with a trip to the Western Front.
The visit formed part of the UK Government’s own commemorations, with full funding provided for a number of specially selected schools to each send two students and a teacher. The tours themselves have been running over the past four years, with the aim that every state school in the country has the opportunity to participate.
With Carter the only school in Dorset chosen to take part in the initiative this year, the Hamworthy based school picked Omar and Sebastian to attend after the Humanities department ran a special competition, asking students to complete a small project on the commemoration of World War I, as well as a personal statement detailing why they thought they should be chosen for the trip.
The three-day tour, which took place from 28th to 31st October, saw the boys and History Teacher Simon Maguire, who accompanied them, visit the key battlefield sites, memorials, cemeteries and museums in northern France and Belgium.
In addition to seeing the landscapes where the war was fought, Omar and Sebastian, both in Year 8, also walked through trenches, crossed No Man’s Land and visited the world famous Menin Gate memorial at Ypres, where Sebastian was chosen to lay a wreath.
The duo were also given the special task of seeking out the graves of Hamworthy soldiers William Diffey and Percy L Bloomfield to pay their respects.
Throughout the visit, all those taking part were accompanied by a serving staff sergeant and a lieutenant colonel, as well as battlefield tour guide and former Carter History teacher Alan Woods.
Commenting on the experience, Mr Maguire said:
“It was an absolute privilege to be chosen to take part in this visit and both Omar and Sebastian were a credit to Carter Community School. The whole experience was incredibly moving and we’d like to express our sincere thanks to all those involved in making the trip happen.”
Sam Davidson, Principal at Carter Community School commented:
“As a school committed to providing an education with character, it’s incredibly important for all of us to remember the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives during the First World War and to actively support these commemorations.”