The Belgium Trip

This is another post in a series, about my secondary school experiences. This is about when we went on a trip to the battlefields of France and Belgium in Year 10, and is an unusual post as it is almost completely positive.

We took the Dover-to-Calais ferry over to France on a coach. The ferry trip was entertaining because one of my friends kept complaining about feeling sea-sick so we kept ribbing him about that. When we were on the coach (I’m not sure when it exactly developed) some of my classmates asked what the driver’s name was, and he said it was Tony. From then on, every time went in the coach everyone would chant “Tony, give us a wave! Tony, Tony, give us a wave!”. Tony would wave, and everyone would cheer. It soon developed further than that, with people chanting “Tony, tell us a joke, Tony, Tony, tell us a joke!” and “Tony is a legend, Tony is a legend, na na na na! Na na na na!”. Eventually, they adapted the Southampton signature chant to go “Should I be Tony, or should I be Hall (one of the teachers), this’ what she to me, ‘wash your mouth out son, and get your father’s gun, and shoot the Hall-y scum, and support Tony”. That was so funny, I was in stiches.

But the more important thing for me was the various battlefields and memorials we visited. We visited the Vimy Ridge battlefield, but didn’t go to see the memorial, but was very interesting because of the preserved trenches. We visited the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, which contains the infamous danger tree (although not the original), which was particularly moving. We also visited the Thiepval Memorial, which was so large, with so many names, that you help but be moved looking at it. The most important place we visited though, was the Menin Gate, where we saw a march of veterans e.t.c and heard the Last Post. It is such a moving event, I almost cried. I recommend everyone should visit there at least once in their lifetime.

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  1. 27/02/2010 at 3:15 pm

    The bus driver didn’t complain? I’m baffled.

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