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This week students from Alsop High School made a poignant pilgrimage to remember local men who sacrificed their lives during World War One.
The students laid a wreath at Thiepval to remember Percy Tucker the 29 young men from Walton Church who gave their lives during the Battle of the Somme. These Walton “Pals” joined together, fought together and together they sacrificed their lives.
The students also visited Brandhoek New Military Cemetery in Belgium and visited the grave of Noel Chavasse, VC, the son of the Bishop of LIverpool who was killed in action during 1917.
Here Alsop students participated in a short act of remembrance and laid a wreath on behalf of The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt.Rev. Paul Bayes.
On the wreath Bishop Paul wrote:
“In remembrance of the courage of Noel Chavasse and for those who died in all wars and with prayers for a peaceful future. From all at the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool.”
Mr Wilson Headteacher writes;
“We are honoured that Alsop students have participated in this poignant journey. Young people need to learn from History and the tragedy of war to build a better future.”
Mr Colin Mc Cormick, Head of History comments:
“The story of the Walton Pals helps young people to reflect upon and connect with history. This was a emotional visit and young people made a commitment to continue to work for peace and reconciliation in Europe”
For more information about the Battle of the Somme visit:
The Battle of the Somme is synonymous with the nation’s Remembrance of the
First World War and the futility of trench warfare.
Fighting at the Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916 and lasted four and a half months.
In total, 60 nations from across the British Empire and Europe were involved in the fighting across a 25 kilometre front.
There were almost 60,000 British and Imperial casualties on the first day of the battle, of which nearly 20,000 were killed.
At the start of the battle, most of the British Army had been an inexperienced mass of volunteers. Going over the top at the Somme was the first taste of battle for many men, as a large number were part of “Kitchener’s Volunteer Army” which was formed by Pals battalions, mainly recruited from the North of England.
The Pals battalions were made up of groups of friends, team mates in sports clubs and colleagues, who had joined together expecting to fight alongside each other. The heavy losses in one battalion had a profound effect on Britain and were felt locally and nationally.
Of the approaching half a million British and Imperial casualties suffered in the 141-day battle, a third died. When the offensive finally came to a halt on 18
November 1916, the Battle of the Somme had claimed a million casualties; 430,000 from Commonwealth countries.