Year 4 took a special memorial trip to the NMA, Alrewas last Thursday.  They arrived at the NMA and were taken straight to their first activity.  Chris was our host, who gave us all some information on some of the Corps in WW1.  The children made armbands to show which Corps they were in and they stood up to inform the rest of the class what their particular Corps did and why it was an important role in the War.  The Medical Corps, Signal Officers, WAAC,  and The Land Army to name a few, and we realised how important each of these jobs were.  We also learned that the NMA is a place where everyone (National) can come to remember (Memorial) in a place of trees (Arboretum).

We then attended a short service where we stood quiet for the 2 minute silence that their chapel observes everyday at 11am.   Chris then took us on a tour of the NMA where we walked respectfully around and were shown many different types of memorial.  The Land Army, Galipoli and The Royal Mail Memorials were amongst ones we visited.  Some children had names that they were searching for and found family or friend’s names on the memorials.

At the end of our tour with Chris, we were invited to have our own remembrance circle where the class read out our Roll of Honour followed by a poignant poem and a few words of remembrance finally laying a wreath as part of our honouring the fallen.  After lunch, we went for a long walk to find the trenches and the children were able to go into them to see how terrible the conditions were for the soldiers.  We made our final visit to the main memorial where the children were amazed at how many names were carved into the white stone, a few of the children noticing that there were many slabs of stone still remaining for future soldiers.

The children behaved beautifully throughout the trip with respect and attention to others around them, we were very proud that they were so good and looked so smart!  We would like to thank the NMA for all their hard work; many of the workers there are volunteers who provide information to the public about the memorials and help with the upkeep of the place.  We would also like to thank Mrs Emmerson-Friend for organising such a worth-while and interesting school trip.

Some of the children’s quotes:

Emily “This was the best ever trip I’ve ever been on!!”

Charlie  “My favourite bit was when we went into the Trenches because it was interesting, there was a little office place and a secret door.”

Emerson “I enjoyed looking at the trench, it was fun inside.  I think the men at war would’ve been scared, cold and muddy.”

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”   – Laurence Binyon, “Ode of Remembrance”