On the 15 May 2011 28 Sullivan pupils set off for an amazing trip to France. The day after arrival we visited the site where the battle of Vimy Ridge took place. We had a great tour of the battle field but had to be careful because there were unexploded mines! During our stay inFrance we visited many graves for the brave soldiers who fought in the wars to pay our respects. Whenever we visited the IrishPeaceTower, a member in the group, Matthew Crilly, actually found details about his great grandfather.
During the trip we were able to get a really good feel of what the war was like because in most of the museums they had hundreds of pieces of equipment from the war and normally each had their own trench system.
We also took a day excursion to Belgium to do some shopping and visit a museum there. When we visited the museum we were given names of people and we found out their story as we progressed through the museum. We went to a last post ceremony at Menin Gate. Nearly the whole town turned out to pay their respects to the soldiers at that time.
On Saturday evening we transferred to the Chanteloup hotel in Paris. We had two days to marvel at the breath taking sights in Parisincluding the Arc de Triomphe, EiffelTower, Pont Alexandre III and others. On the day before we left, we went to Disneyland Paris; this was probably one of the most anticipated activities on the trip. Apart from all the queuing for the rides, it was unbelievable and I think everyone in the group enjoyed it even the teachers!
After all the excitement at Disneyland we went on a Seine river tour. The tour took us along the river and showed us the most beautiful places in Paris. On the boat we had a waving competition to see who could get the most waves from people passing by the boat. Everybody waved frantically for about half an hour straight!
The trip was amazing and I hope that there are many other trips like it.
By Danny Lyttle 9D
Year 9 French/History trip to Paris and the World War one sites
The French history trip of 2011 was a great success; no one was really sure what it was going to be like, because no one had ever been on it before! On the first day we mainly travelled, so we didn’t get to see any of the interesting things!
On the second day, we visited one of the sights of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where all of the Canadian Regiments united and fought alongside some Ulster regiments as well. We went into some of the trenches that they’d dug out, but we couldn’t walk on the grass, as it was riddled with shell holes, and some shells which hadn’t gone off! On the same day, we also went to see two cemeteries, each had about 100 graves or more in it, and helped everyone to understand the magnitude of deaths caused in the 1st World War, and we also went to see a Memorial which was covered in names of soldiers whose bodies weren’t found.
On the Third day, we drove all the way to Ypres in Belgium. First we visited the Island of Ireland Peace Memorial, and one of the pupils, Matthew Crilly, was able to find his great grandfathers name in the book! We then went to Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood. It was a sort of museum of WW1, with loads of stuff like Artillery and uniforms which they had found in the surrounding areas, there were also lots of trenches ion the woods behind the centre, with dugouts and mini subways which they used to move men from the front line to the communication trenches without getting shot! We then drove to a main part of Ypres. After some shopping, we went to a very interesting museum, which had lots of information on the Battle of the Somme and other parts of WW1. Once we had dinner, we were lucky enough to be able attend a Last Post Ceremony. Everyone found it very moving, but were also happy to play a part in the remembrance of the soldier’s lives.
On Saturday, before we went to Paris, we drove to The Ulster Tower Memorial, which looked like a castle from the outside, but was a room with lots of Wreaths and Poppies in it. We then had a guided tour of the trenches, in which a man who was Northern Irish explained to us all of the equipment that the soldiers had to use, and bring with them on to the battlefield. One of our pupils, Peter Baker was dressed up in the full kit of the Royal Ulster Fusiliers, and posed for pictures! He also showed us different things that they had discovered while they were excavating the wood. Some of these were, a spoon which was used by a man who was shot in the leg, and strangely, the bullet went through the spoon, causing the force of the bullet to be lessened. They’d also discovered a sealed test tube of iodine, which is what soldiers were given as an emergency painkiller in case they were shot on the battlefield and there was no immediate help. Everyone found this very interesting and we were all glad that we did it. After that, we went to a memorial, which had lots of British Regiments on it, and we were even able to find the name of a past Sullivan Pupil, Theopias L. Calwell!
By the time we arrived at the second hotel we were all absolutely shattered, so were all happy to go to sleep!
On Sunday, we went to the much anticipated Euro Disney, which everyone was looking forward to, with the possible exception of the teachers! After an amazing day in Disneyland, we drove back into Paris to go on a boat trip down the River Seine. It was really interesting, and told us all about the famous buildings as we went past them, there was even a bridge, that as you went under, you were meant to make a wish then kiss your neighbour!
On Monday everyone was very excited, as we were visiting the Eiffel Tower! It was amazing and particular memorable for some of the pupils! Went up to the second level, and we were all glad, even looking down from there made everyone dizzy! By the time we all got to the airport, everyone was wishing that we could stay for another week, but unfortunately, we couldn’t, and were greeted at the airport by our parents.
The French-History Trip was an amazing experience for everyone, and we would strongly recommend anyone going into Yr. 9 to jump at any opportunity to go on this trip, you won’t regret it!
By Margot MacMahon & Sarah Storeng 9H