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Haileybury's First World War trench open to school visits as part of Centenary commemorations

As part of the College’s commemorative activities marking the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, a replica command trench will be built in the grounds of the school this summer which will be open to visiting school groups during the Autumn Term and of course will be a superb resource for our own pupils.

“We hope our trench trail will provide a unique and valuable perspective on one of the most tragic and important chapters on the history of both our school and country” Joe Davies, Master

The Haileybury Trench Trail, Autumn 2014

In late 1914 and early 1915 Haileybury pupils helped dig up land around the College’s rugby pitches to create a system of trenches for their military training and 589 Haileybury pupils and staff died in the conflict. The 2014 trench will replicate one that might have been created in the battlefields of the First World War complete with duckboards, firestep and dugout. The trench will form part of a Trench Trail using Haileybury’s archive materials, architecture, memorials and Chapel to explain what life was like during the conflict both at home and at the Front.

The Trench Trail will enable pupils to learn about the First World War through items linked to those who experienced the conflict first hand. Each school group will work their way around the trail led by a workshop leader and a learning session will give children the opportunity to see and handle artefacts, medals, letters and photographs.

The Trench Trail will be open to school group visits on selected dates from September to December 2014 and will be suitable for both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 levels so we will welcome groups from Year 4 up to Year 8.

If your school is interested in visiting the Haileybury Trench Trail, please contact the Box Office by calling 01992 706355.

In addition to this exciting and innovative project, the programme of commemorative events will include:

  • The design and installation of two new commemorative stained glass windows in Chapel
  • The installation of interactive plaques around the College, highlighting the lives of six famous Haileyburians, including Field Marshal Allenby, with an associated lecture series to enhance and enrich pupils’, parents’, OHs’ and visitors’ understanding and awareness of the rich history of the College
  • A school production of Oh! What a Lovely War
  • A concert featuring music from the period of the Great War
  • A special version of the annual Removes WW1 Battlefields trip
  • A Sixth Form Poetry of the First World War conference for schools

Poetry of the First World War: A one-day conference for Sixth Form – Friday 17 October 2014, 10 am – 4.30 pm

The aim of this conference is to involve Sixth Form pupils and their teachers in the critical discussions and revaluations of the poetry of the First World War that are taking place in this its Centenary year.

The keynote speaker is by Dr Adrian Barlow, president of the English Association. Simon Armitage, whose new film The Great War: An Elegy will be broadcast on BBC2 in the Autumn, will be giving a poetry reading followed by Q&A. In addition, the programme will include papers and presentations by teachers and pupils, and a poster competition for pupils: click here for full details. Delegates will also be able to take a tour of the First World War replica battlefield trench being constructed in Haileybury’s grounds this Summer.

If you are a teacher or pupil and would like to present a short paper, or are interested in creating a poster related to the poetry of the First World War for our competition, please contact Head of English, Dr Tom Day.

Places at the conference are free for school groups and places are limited so advance booking is essential. Book online now or call our Box Office on 01992 706355 in school hours.