Cambridgeshire Army Cadets make three day tour of battlefields of France
Cadets from Cambridgeshire army cadets enjoyed a three day tour to France to visit the battlefields recently.
The selection for the tour started back in March where cadets were given two names of Cambridgeshire regiment soldiers who died or survived. The cadets set to work researching them.
They uncovered some interesting stories about their soldiers and once all the research was in the cadets finally got ready to embark on their adventure.
Day one the cadets woke up, enjoyed an early breakfast before they headed for the coach to France. Once there they visited the Passchendaele museum where they had chance to walk around the dugouts and trench systems.
After this they moved onto the second stand at Tyne Cote Commonwealth War graves, where the cadets spent time walking around and finding the Cambridgeshire soldiers who were laid to rest there.
Afterwards they headed to the accommodation at Chateau Ebblingham for their first night.
On the second day the cadets visited the main area the Cambridgeshire regiment were fighting towards the end of the war during the 100 day Offensive. This is where the battles of Nurlu and Epehy were fought. The cadets had a chance to place a poppy cross at both memorials before heading to Peronne Commonwealth Cemetery Extension to place the poppy crosses on the graves of
the remaining soldiers they had been researching.
After this they headed back to the accommodation for an early evening meal and quick change into uniform before taking part in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres.
On the final day the cadets visited the Shot at Dawn memorial at Talbot House, Poperinge to remember all the soldiers who were executed for being a “deserter” and not wanting to fight. The original wall that they were stood against whilst facing the firing squad still remains as well as the death cells where they were held.
They then had chance to visit Flanders fields and Essex Farm and the Dressing Station (an area where a lot of the soldiers would have been taken to receive
emergency first aid). In this cemetery there is the grave of a 15 year old soldier who died; he is known to have joined up whilst underage at 14 years old. The cadets found this extremely moving.
The trip helped the cadets get an insight into what the solders went through whilst fighting.