World War I workshop

By Grace Garfoot, Year 9

On Tuesday 4th July we went to Durham University to learn about World War One.  We started by going on a walk around the town to see all the buildings and sights that played a role in the war. We visited a memorial podium to the soldiers from Durham. It had names engraved on slabs of stone but some had been replaced due to people stealing them. The cemetery used to have metal railings around it but all that is left are the holes where they were once connected. People would cut these down as a mark of respect. We also visited a building that used to be a court that handled cases linked to the death penalty. For a while this buildings was used as a recruitment office due to the fact that it had lots of big rooms, and it was later turned back into a court, which is what it is used for today.

When we came back from our walk, we learnt about the battle of Passchendaele and General Haig. We were told that we were going to be debating whether General Haig made his choices for himself or for the benefit of his men. Our school was told to fight FOR the statement. It was the hardest option but we ended up winning the case.

Finally we went into the gallery where we got to look at and even try on some clothes from the war. There was things like jackets, coats, gas masks, boots, etc.  It was a chance to learn about the difficulties that the soldiers faced aside from just being on a battlefield.

At the end of the day, the bus broke down but it still didn’t spoil our day.