Morpeth pupil Emma, 15, finds grave of relative who fell at 1916 Battle of Somme
- Credit: Morpeth School
A trip to the First World War battlefield at the Somme by history students from a school in London’s East End took on poignancy when they found the grave of a pupil’s great uncle.
Emma Morris, 15, from Bethnal Green’s Morpeth Secondary Year-10 class, was the first member of her family ever to visit the isolated grave tucked away in Dartmoor cemetery in northern France.
She laid a cross of remembrance with a dedication on behalf of her family back in east London, while on a school trip to the battlefields of The Great War as part of their GCSE studies.
The pupils and five staff travelled to the Western Front to research what happened in one of the most controversial campaigns of the 1914-18 War.
The two-day trip began in the front line trench where they studied the events of the first day of the battle in July, 1916.
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They looked out over what was once ‘No-man’s Land’ and the uphill attack against heavily-fortified German trenches. The British losses still stand as the Army’s worst record for causalities, with 60,000 by lunchtime that day.
“It’s our duty to take young people to visit these cemeteries,” history teacher Liam Urtone said. “They will become the link, in time, between past and future generations who will hold the responsibility to ensure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice are not forgotten.”
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The pupils paid tribute with their own remembrance service the Thiepval memorial to the 72,000 men who died on the Somme whose bodies were never found and therefore have no known grave.