Somme Heritage Centre Visits

Over three days during the week beginning Monday 9th December Grosvenor’s Form Three History students were each afforded the opportunity to attend the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards in conjunction with their studies relating to World War One within the subject. 

Two classes attended on each day, with the visit designed to coincide with the pupils’ learning about the First World War over the past term; this included a study of living, working and fighting conditions in the trenches, weapons used by the opposed armed forces and the role of local people in the conflict (with particular reference to the Battle of the Somme of July-November 1916). A strong emphasis is placed by the Centre on the importance of remembrance and how the First World War still has huge relevance and resonance in the modern world.

The Centre provides students with the opportunity to dress as a British First World War soldier (of varying ranks) and to recreate the ‘journey’ taken by local people from the point of ‘joining up’ to injury or death in the field, or their return home. Pupils also have the opportunity to hold and interact with weapons and objects from the war (such as nursing equipment and ‘treats’ which soldiers received).

As always, this year’s trips proved extremely valuable and can only have served to improve the students’ understanding of the period and, most importantly, provide a sense of both the local and wider significance of the conflict.

Many thanks to those at the Centre who ensured that the tours were so educational and worthwhile.  In addition, gratitude is extended to Head of History Mr Darren Tomkins for his organisation of the trips as well as teachers Mrs Peel, Mrs Sullivan, Mr Elliott and Mr Smyth who also attended.

The School looks forward to bringing next year’s form three students to the Somme Heritage Centre for another informative set of tours in December 2014.


Grosvenor pupils aid their understanding of the First World War period during their visit to The Somme Heritage Centre in the middle of December