All posts by Euan Doidge

Battlefields Day 4 : The Menin Gate

Our day began with a visit to Essex Farm and the site where John McCrae composed the renowned “In Flanders Field”. We then learnt of the story of Valentine Strudwick who is a young person who died in WWI – as young as any of our S2 boys aged only 14 years old. Our journey then took us to Poelkappelle Cemetry a place where 7,000 out of 8,000 graves have no known identities. We then marched down Passchendaele Ridge to the sound of our wonderful pipes and drum before visiting Tynecot Cemetery where Harriet played Flowers of the Forest in tribute to the soldiers who died trying to win the Battle in the Mud.

After lunch we went to Langemark Cemetry, one of only 4 German cemetries in Belgium. Our final stop of the morning was to Ypres prison where we heard the stories of 2 deserters who where court marshalled and shot at dawn by their own battallion. The afternoon shopping in the chocolate shops of Ypres and running through the water fountain in the square 🙂

The main event came after dinner where our piper Kieran played a solo of “Flowers of the Forest”, “The Green Hills” and “The Battles O’er”. Kieran was then congratulated by The President of Landstags Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), Carina Godecke. Pipe Major Moore and the whole battalion are very proud of you Kieran 🙂 The battalion travelled to Sanctuary Wood cemetry on the outskirts of Ypres to perform our own private ceremony of remembrance. Our poppy wreath was laid by Cameron and Rachel before Amy read out “The Exaltation”. Robert carried our Remembrance candle and Harriet piped “Flowers of the Forest” to conclude our ceremony.

“You gave your todays for our tomorrows. United in life, united in death no matter where you came from. Gone but never forgotten.”
– The 3rd Battalion Preston Lodge Pals

We sail back to Blighty tomorrow morning – a progress report will be telephoned to parents to advise of our expected arrival at Preston Lodge.
On behlaf of the battalion we would like to thank Wendy our tour guide for the week from Mercat Tours and our bus driver Dave. Also a huge thanks to our Senior Officers, Col. Binnie, Major Armstrong and Pipe Major Moore, for keeping us in rank – thankfully no one was put on punishment duties 🙂

Battlefields Day 3 : 3 Countries in 1 Day

First Stop – Canada! Our first visit took us to Newfoundland Park where the Pipes and Drums of the 3rd Battalion Pals made their debut and paid their respects to 51st Highlanders. Kieran played an emotional Flowers of the Forest reducing our tour guide to tears. You know PL have arrived when they reduce the tour guide to tears 🙂 The entire piping and drumming ensemble lead us through the Somme battlefield with The Green Hills, The Battle O’er and Scotland the Brave.

Our next stop was Thiepval Memorial where Highland Cathedral was played in tribute to the 73,000 who went missing in the battle of The Somme. Our Hearts of Midlothian supporters (Kieran and Amy but most certainly not Col. Binnie this year) had the opportunity to place a cross of remembrance at the Contalmaison cairn commemorating the fallen from McCraes battalion.

Imaginations were stretched as we then visited the sight of the Lochnagar crater – the largest in the history of WWI. We then visited Dartmoor cemetry where we heard the accounts of the oldest casualty of WWI, a Victoria Cross winner and the story of George and Robert Lee – a father and son who lost their lives on the same day. Last stop in France was at the monumental Vimy Ridge, a tribute to the Canadian missing. Back in Belgium for dinner to satisfy the appetites for chips.

– Sergeant Bell

Battlefields Day 2 : The Trenches

After the delightful morning revaille which almost woke Rachel up(!!!!!!), we headed for Hill 60 and some traditional pill box fun. Only the brave attempted a tight pill box entry (Kieran gave it the body swerve) with Lee, Robert and Shona completing this mission (see photos).

Our next stop was the Pool of Peace where we had a quiet moment in our day to reflect on the consequences of being involved in the secret tunneling missions. Afterwards great heights and fears were conquered as we climbed the Messine Church Tower in true Albert spirit (even acrophobes Rachel, Katie and Col. Binnie – well done !!!!!!) .

Wellies were at the ready after lunch as we entered the trenches at Hill 62 in Sanctuary Wood. Newly promoted Corporal Wight acted as translator for our party when encountering a school from Kent – parlez vous la Panz ?? 😉 He also demonstrated great bravery whilst in the dark communication trenches – the increasingly shrill singing giving the game away as he followed Cameron into the darkness.

At Hooge museum we had time to relax in the cafe and enjoy a refreshing drink. Last stop was the Menin Road as we discovered our 4 minute bus trip along the road to Ypres took the Germans 4 years to complete. Out for Italian dinner tonight before travelling to France tomorrow.

Sergeant Bell has carefully selected todays photographs in light of Captain Moore’s special request.

Day 1 of Battlefields 2013 – Brugge

A message from the front line:

We have safely landed and enjoyed an afternoon in the picturesque city of Brugge. Our appetites after our long journey were satisfied by the citys delicacies : chips, chocolate and waffles. Our curiosity was satisfied by a horse and carriage tour. We have spent the evening relaxing on the eve of battle….wellies at the ready for tomorrow in the trenches.

– Sergeant Bell

Battlefields 2012 has landed!

2nd Battalion Preston Lodge pals has successfully arrived in Ypres!

After a successful liaison with 1st Battalion Dalry pals in the wee hours of the night, it was off to Dover to meet with Field Marshal Brogan to start the journeyto France and on to Belgium.

2nd Battalion pals have now settled into their accommodation after an afternoon in Bruge, have been well fed and are just now making calls home to say they’ve arrived.

The mission continues tomorrow, but for now here’s some pictures of our day – expect more tomorrow!

SQA Exam Results 2010: Statistics & Grade Boundaries

Exam Results Certificates arrived on doorsteps across the country this morning, bringing the (good) news to thousands of students. Hopefully you all got the grades you were after – congratulations to all of you! The SQA have released the Grade Boundaries for each subject across all levels (viewable by clicking the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets), as well as a few statistics on attainment etc.

Grade Boundaries 2010

Grade Boundaries 2010 (as percentages) 

Component Marks – National Averages 

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards 

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards (Male candidates) 

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards (Female candidates)

For interest, last years statistics can be found here.

PL at Scottish Education Awards!

Preston Lodge High School has been selected as a finalist at the prestigious Scottish Education Awards 2010.

The school has been short-listed for the high-profile Health and Wellbeing Award in recognition of its success in promoting health as an integral part of school life.

Mike Russell MSP, cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning, said:

The reality of Scottish education is that we have hundreds of thousands of good pupils, taught by tens of thousands of excellent teachers within thousands of great schools.

The Scottish Education Awards give us the chance to recognise this and reward the best practice taking place right across the country.

Preston Lodge High School, as a finalist at this year’s awards, has demonstrated real commitment to supporting pupils to be ambitious and to strive to do better.”

Councillor Peter MacKenzie, East Lothian Council cabinet member for education and children’s services, said:

I am delighted that Preston Lodge High School has been nominated for this award.

Young people and staff have worked for several years on raising awareness of healthy living and have developed a range of innovative projects to do so, focusing not only on food and exercise, but also on the impact on environmental issues on health.

Their all-round approach has paid dividends for young people and staff, and the local community.”

The finalists have been chosen by a specially selected panel of judges.

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At the Award Ceremony on Friday 18th June — we didn’t win … however, we did come a very close second and came back with a cheque for £500 to take forward Health and Wellbeing.  Not to mention being the ONLY Scottish secondary school nominated for this award.

Amie-Jayne Russell, Ashton Ritchie, Hollie Salmon, Mrs Nicol and Mrs. Robertson represented Preston Lodge and had a ball!  It was a spectacular event, hosted by Jackie Bird and Romeo – with a singing performance from Daniel Johnston (X-Factor).

Thank you to all staff and students who made it possible for us to get through to the finals (with a special mention to Liz Nicoll who keeps the Health and Wellbeing Group motivated and on track).

We’re already planning our nomination for next year!

We have a visit from the panel to consider our application for Level 3 accreditation for Health Promoting Schools on Monday 28th June and are confident we will achieve this.

For further information visit

PL Log Books: May 1925

PLHS Logbook CollageThe serialisation of our historical Log Book continues, with the entries from May 1925

1st May

“May Day” or “Labour Day” – school is closed to-day by order of Executive Officer.

8th May

Stationery received from Messrs McDougall.

15th May

To-day is first day that the school furnace has not been “on”.  The school was very warm without it.

18th May

Mr Allatt did not attend here to-day as he was required in Edinburgh for the Musical Festival.

19th May

Five class-room thermometers received from Messrs McDougall’s Educational Coy. Ltd.  This completes requisitions No 650, 651 & 652.

20th May

No music classes to-day, as Mr Allatt was attending Edinburgh Music Festival.

21st May

James Nicholson Class 1 Secondary, the only pupil in Preston Lodge competing at the Edinburgh Musical Festival this week, tied second place in the juvenile Scots’ song class, gained first place in the juvenile song class, & first for violin playing.

26th May

Mr Philip H.M.I. visited the school this morning and inspected the mathematical work of Class 2 (girls), Class 3 & Class 4.  The work tested was almost exclusively geometry.

Be Part of PL 85! Tickets on Sale NOW!

Preston Lodge High School is holding a coffee evening on Thursday 10th June from 5-8pm to celebrate the anniversary of its 85th session.  The school’s first session took place in 1924/25.

Tickets cost £1.50 and can be bought from:

  • PL’s school office,
  • Hall’s Newsagents, High Street, Prestonpans,
  • Links Road Garage, Port Seton,
  • Nicholson’s General Store, Longniddry.

Tickets include tea, coffee, cake etc; the first viewing of the Preston Lodge High School Reminiscence Film, a new exhibition of old photographs; tours of the school and a chat with faces from the past.

All welcome.  Hope to see you there.

You MUST have a ticket to attend!

Numbers are limited so buy soon to avoid disappointment! for more information.