Year 7 Normandy visit

After a wonderfully smooth ferry crossing in comparison with last year’s notorious journey, Year 7 pupils arrived at St Mere Eglise to see the first of the tourist spots that they would be visiting. A place well known because of its links to the D-Day landings, and for the dummy paratrooper that hangs from the church spire, commemorating the story of John Steele, pupils took time to wander around the church and think about the importance of this place.

Pupils moved on to visit two cemeteries later in the day, the German cemetery and the American cemetery. What struck all pupils was the difference between them. The American cemetery was vast, pristine and celebratory whereas the German cemetery had a very different feel; many of the pupils used the adjective sombre to describe it.

After dinner pupils headed back to the hotel to have a much needed sleep after the early start.

The weather on the second day of the trip was wonderful, perfect for the Year 7 tourists. Many said that their visit to the 360 degree cinema was a highlight as it taught them a lot about World War Two and the struggles for many soldiers. Followed by an ice cream on the beach and a wonderful dinner before bowling, day two certainly was a day of contrasts.

On day three the pupils sustained one of Cowbridge Comprehensive School’s traditions, hosting a ceremony at the British cemetery. Providing the pupils with time to reflect on what they had seen, the service conducted by Mr Lewis was thought provoking and commemorative. Pupils were taken aback by the young ages of the soldiers whose grave stones they saw.

After a filling lunch of frites, it was already time to get on the bus to head back home. All of the pupils had a fabulous time and it was certainly a trip to remember!