Fought for Freedom Trip Report

On Friday 15 June, Mr Davies and Mrs Cavanagh took 18 Y9 students on a trip to the ‘Fought for Freedom’ Military Show at Quex Park, Birchington. The show is an annual event and this year it was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
Pupils were treated as army recruits throughout the day and, on arrival, were put through their paces by Mr Baker who quickly drilled them in how to line up and march in time. Following on from this, pupils took part in a competition between the boys and girls, including teachers to see who could put on the soldiers’ puttees (a long strip of cloth wound spirally round the leg from ankle to knee for protection and support). This proved to be very competitive, with the girls eventually winning by 4 to 1!
In the next activity, pupils were shown a range of helmets from different countries, spanning the 20th century, which they took turns in arranging in chronological order. This was followed by a quiz to guess the correct date of various pieces of uniform. Finally, Mr Baker dressed some of the pupils in costume, these included a WWI nurse and a WW2 British and American soldier.
The next part of the day involved a visit to the ‘WWI British and German trenches’ which have been painstakingly recreated by Mr Baker and his Combined Ops team over the past 5 years. Here, pupils were able to get a sense of the horrendous living conditions experienced by soldiers of both sides during this time. This was enhanced by presentations from a German and British soldier who explained the day to day routine of a WWI soldier.
After lunch, pupils were taken on a tour of the event by Mr Baker which included a tour of a WWI Fire Station, talks by reenactors from the Military Police, Free French battalion, and their favourite, a German Paratrooper unit, where they got to handle very realistic replica weapons from the period.