Thirty-two students and four staff from Monmouth School spent four days on the First World War battlefields of the Western Front. Visits were made to sites closely associated with the school and with local regiments. Based in Ypres they followed the course of the fighting in the area from August 1914 to November 1918. Wreaths were laid at the Menin Gate memorial to the missing during the Last Post ceremony and at the memorial to the men of the First Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment which took heavy casualties in May 1915 on the Frezenburg Ridge in the aftermath of the first gas attack.
“Walking the ground” and hearing stories of the harrowing events of these sites had a powerful impact on the whole party. On the way to Vimy Ridge we visited the Seaforth Highlanders memorial at Fampoux Arras where James was able to pay his respects to his great-grandfather, Angus Robertson (1897-1953), who had been wounded in fighting there in April 1917.