We’ve had a busy first full day in Belgium today following in the footsteps of the brave men of the first world war. We began the day learning about the underground war which was fought by miner soldiers from both sides. We witnessed the enormous crater produced by one of the explosions from one of these mines before going onto visit Messines Chapel. At Messines we heard the remarkable story of Mr Albert and how he set about getting the bells replaced then went up to see (and hear) them ourselves. They must’ve known we were coming as Auld Lang’s Syne rang out while we were up there.
After lunch we actually got to get down into a section of a real first world war trench and contemplated what it must’ve like to have lived and died in such terrible conditions. Our last stop today was at Hill 60 where the first and second world wars intersected with the same bunkers being used by the Germans in both wars – and then by us today – 38 in one bunker!
After dinner we rounded the day off with a reflection on the day writing down some of our thoughts from each of the experiences before heading to the park to kick about a ball.