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Westminster Abbey Trip

posted 9 Feb 2016, 05:40 by
On Monday 8 February a group of Year 8 and 9 students visited Westminster Abbey to take part in workshops about the 1st World War. The abbey with its monuments, carvings, stained glass windows and history is an awe inspiring place to visit.

The students were given a guided tour of Westminster Abbey by the character Captain Padre David Railton, who was a curate in Folkestone in Kent before becoming a chaplain to the 2nd Battalion of the Hon.Artillery Company on the Western Front during the 1914-18 war. In 1916, in a back garden at Erkingham near Armentières in France, he noticed a grave with a rough cross on which were penciled the words 'An Unknown British Soldier'. After the war he became vicar of Margate in Kent and in August 1920 he wrote to Herbert Ryle, Dean of Westminster, suggesting a permanent memorial to the fallen of the Great War who had no known grave. King George V and the government, rather reluctantly at first, supported the idea and on 11 November 1920 David Railton saw his dream become reality.

A year later, the Union flag which he had used during the war to drape over his makeshift altars – and over the bodies of soldiers killed in action - was donated to the Abbey. The Padre's Flag, as it is known, now hangs in St George's Chapel close to the Warrior's grave.

Today the Grave of the Unknown Warrior is one of the most famous of the Abbey's memorials.

Students visited the tomb and then took part in workshops about the poetry which was created during the 1st World War. In particular, they looked at poetry by Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen and the portrayal of the war within their poetry. Staff at Westminster Abbey complimented the students on their knowledge of the 1st World War and their ability to analyse poetry.

After the workshops and lunch in the cloisters, students were then able to return to the abbey to explore at other areas including Poets’ corner, the Tudor tombs of Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. Students also saw the Coronation Chair, albeit without the Stone of Scone. The Stone of Scone was secretly buried in the Abbey when during the Second World War the Chair was evacuated to Gloucester Cathedral. Students also learned about how the chair plays a pivotal role within the Coronation ceremony.

The students were also treated to a bus tour of the London sites with Miss Rawlings taking on the role of compere!

Principal Lesley Moule said.
‘Millbrook Academy continues to offer exciting trips and visits for our students to provide experiences which enhance and extend their studies and to enrich their classroom based learning’.