Medics at Ypres History School Trips (3 Days)

Our Medics at Ypres History School trip is designed to address the content covered by The British Sector of the Western Front: Injuries, Treatment & the Trenches in the Edexcel History GCSE (9-1). Context will be provided by an overview of key aspects of the fighting including the failure of the Schlieffen Plan & creation of the Ypres Salient in the winter of 1914/15; the construction & development of trench systems; gas warfare beginning with Pilkem Ridge in 1915 & mine warfare at Hill 60.

The work of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) & nursing organisations including Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs), Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS) & First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) will also be examined. Central to this was the creation of a casualty evacuation system requiring an effective transport network incorporating motorised ambulances, hospital trains, barges & ships. With surgeons closer to the battlefield & fewer delays in administering life-saving treatment, survival rates increased. 

The scale of casualties provided a great impetus to innovation particularly in the development of more effective methods of blood transfusion & the creation of blood banks by 1917. Inventions such as the Thomas splint had a major impact in reducing fatalities. The Brodie helmet was introduced in 1915 to combat the high incidence of head wounds caused by shrapnel & sniping. An understanding of germ theory led to the routine sterilisation of equipment & encouraged experimentation with antiseptic methods of tackling infection. Conditions in the trenches exposed soldiers to afflictions such as trenchfoot & trench fever, the latter transmitted by lice. This led to greater emphasis being placed on hygiene, sanitation & the design of the trenches themselves as well as research into arresting the spread of disease.

Add a visit to a Christmas Market to your battlefield tour & save money if you are travelling in late November or December.        Click here for details 




Day One:  Outward Journey

  Passchendaele Museum British Trench



  • School pick-up (06.00 hours approx) & travel to Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
  • Full-board accommodation in or near Ypres for two nights



Essex Farm Dugouts










Day Two:  Ypres, 1914-16

  • Hooge
  • Zonnebeke: Site of White House ADS (Martin-Leake VC & Bar)
  • Passchendaele Museum
  • Pilckem Ridge (gas)
  • Essex Farm Cemetery & ADS Dug-outs (John McCrae)
  • Brandhoek New Military Cemetery (Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC)
  • Ypres
  • Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler)
  • Last Post at the Menin Gate at 20.00 hours





Day Three:  Hill 60 & Passchendaele, 1917

  • Hill 60 (mine warfare)
  • Birr Cross Roads Cemetery (Harold Ackroyd VC, MC)
  • Menin Road & Hellfire Corner
  • Passchendaele Ridge & Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Return travel to school with evening drop-off




Some alternatives you may want to visit instead......

  • Sanctuary Wood Trenches & Hill 62 • In Flanders Fields Museum • Please advise us of any other location you would like to include
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Medics at Ypres  


  Nursing Sister QAIMNS
Surgical Equipment   Hooge: The significance of the German occupation of the high ground surrounding Ypres      
  Zonnebeke: Advanced Dressing Station • Arthur Martin-Leake VC & Bar, RAMC as an example of a medic on the battlefield  
  Passchendaele Museum: Gas warfare • living conditions • developments in trench design    
  Pilckem Ridge: First gas attack in April, 1915   
  Essex Farm: Example of an Advanced Dressing Station • stages in casualty evacuation • stretcher bearers & ambulances • roads & transport links • John McCrae • value as evidence of stalemate        
  Brandhoek New Military Cemetery: Role of the Casualty Clearing Station • Nurses • Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC, RAMC  
  Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery: Grouping of CCSs • Significance of location • importance of rail & road links • Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler  
  Hill 60: Mine warfare  
  Birr Cross Roads Cemetery: Role of the Regimental Medical Officer • Harold Ackroyd VC, MC, RAMC  
  Tyne Cot Cemetery: Largest British War Cemetery • scale of casualties in WWI • use of bunkers by Canadian medics & stretcher bearers  
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  Ypres Visits
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Case Study: Historical Skills & Concepts

  Pilckem Ridge Memorial






  • Causation & consequence
  • War as a factor for Change
  • Continuity & regression
  • Understanding context & significance
  • Different types of evidence & source materials: diaries, letters, official documents, reports & physical evidence
  • Eye-witness accounts
  • Strengths & weaknesses of sources affecting their utility: accuracy, bias, completeness
  • Selection of evidence
  • Interpretation of the past




Tyne Cot Cemetery Landscape








The Western Front

    RAMC & Nursing Services

    Injuries & Treatments

  • The Schlieffen Plan
  • The Channel Ports
  • Significance of the First Battle of Ypres, Oct-Nov 1914
  • The Ypres Salient, the Germans & the high ground
  • Stalemate: construction & organisation of trenches
  • Conditions & impact on health
  • Developments in trench design including A-Frame duckboard
  • Gas warfare at Pilckem Ridge
  • Gas masks & gas shells
  • Mine warfare at Hill 60
  • The scale of the casualties
  • Status of medics under the 1906 Geneva Convention
  • Medical Officers on the battlefield
  • Stretcher bearers & battlefield conditions / terrain
  • Regimental Aid Posts
  • Casualty evacuation: Field Ambulance units, Advanced & Main Dressing Stations, Casualty Clearing Stations & Base Hospitals
  • Nursing Services: QAIMNS & FANY, VADs, Red Cross
  • Transport network, horse & motor transport, hospital trains & barges
  • Pre-war developments in surgery & medicine
  • Jansky & the identification of blood types
  • Methods of transfusion
  • Richard Lewisohn: developing an anti-coagulant
  • Richard Weil: refrigeration
  • Francis Rous, James Turner: blood banks & the Battle of Cambrai
  • Battlefield injuries & responses: Brodie helmet, Thomas Splint
  • Trenchfoot, infection & shell shock
  • Development of X-rays
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Study Materials Relevant to Your GCSE/National Curriculum KS3   TyneCot Visitor Centre - Ypres Battlefield Tours

Our study materials are designed by teachers with GCSE examining experience.  When you book with us, you will receive a copy of both our student study packs & teachers' notes, free of charge.  They are produced in an A4 monochrome format to keep reproduction costs to a minimum.  They are loose-leaf which gives you the flexibility to use them in different ways.  You can:

  • Use our study materials exclusively
  • Use your own study materials
  • Use a combination of both your own & our materials
The Student Pack Includes  

The Teacher Pack Additionally Includes

  • Factual detail on each location visited as well as background information
  • Maps, illustrations & time line of main events
  • Eye-witness accounts
  • Tasks, activities & discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited
  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
  • A curriculum matrix linking each location to assessments objectives
  • Suggested answers & mark schemes for written tasks

Integrate with Your Scheme of Work

  Study Materials:  Skills & Concepts  
  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
  • Study materials on Ludendorff Offensive are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
  • Knowledge, recall & comprehension 
  • Historical concepts
  • Understanding, analysis & evaluation of evidence
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Our Guides


SRD Rum Jar Lewis Gun - Ypres Battlefield Tours







We believe a study tour is an educational experience best delivered by people with a knowledge and understanding of the educational system & culture. You can discuss learning aims & objectives with your guide so that the tour meets your requirements.

  • Our guides are former teachers, excellent communicators & have examining experience.
  • They have organised tours themselves so understand the demands placed on accompanying staff.
  • They have an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge & ideas & engaging with young minds.


Bruce Hubbard, BA (Hons), PGCE, DASE



Bruce was a Head of History & Humanities at Ainsdale High School, Sefton, Liverpool. He has worked for Galina since 2007 & was a school client for several years previously. His guide experience includes both History to the Western Front & RS tours to Amsterdam & Vught in the Netherlands. Bruce is a member of the Western Front Association & Great War Forum.

Bruce has more than 30 years' teaching experience & has been an examiner.

“Bruce, was fantastic. He was enthusiastic & helpful. He also spoke directly to the students enabling them to feel he was approachable. They listened & responded brilliantly to him.”  Woodcote High School, Coulsdon, Surrey


  Bruce Hubbard  

Selected & Trained by Galina 

  • We have our own training programme to ensure consistently high standards.
  • Our guides up-to-date with current examination specifications & amendments to Key Stage 3.
  • All guides are DBS-checked.
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    Pax Hotel Dixmuide

The accommodation we use regularly is audited following guidelines laid down by the School Travel Forum and incorporated into our Safety Management System.



4* Pax Hotel, Dixmuide

The Pax is a five-minute walk from the town centre & twenty minutes from Ypres by coach. It is a family-owned hotel which is part of the Best Western group. Evening meals are taken in the de Vrede Hotel in the Grote Markt of Diksmuide which is also owned by the same family. 


 Pax Dixmuide Bedroom Pax Dixmuide Breakfast Room


Pax Dixmuide Bar   

Accommodation Factfile

  • Capacity for 100 students & staff in 37 bedrooms on 4 floors (access via lift/stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Multi-bedded rooms
  • Breakfast room
  • Meeting room
  • Games room/computer area
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar & lounge area
  • Coach parking

The Menin Gate, Ypres

    Menin Gate Hotel
Request a quotation

The Menin Gate Hotel is situated opposite the Menin Gate & Ypres Ramparts and just a short walk away from the Grote Market in the centre of town. Evening meals are taken in one of several restaurants in the main square.  The Menin Gate Hotel is part of a group of hotels owned by the same company that also includes the Salient & Poppies Hotels.  All are maintained to the same high standard. 


Menin Gate Student Bed Room


Menin Gate Dining Room Menin Gate Staff Lounge  

Accommodation Factfile

  • Capacity for 55 students & staff in 11 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Large TV & free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking nearby
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Howard of Effingham School, Leatherhead, Surrey

"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed our trip last week and to thank you for all your help in making it so successful. It was the best one yet. The feedback from parents and students has been extremely positive. As well as the informative and interesting information provided, I really appreciated everything you did over and above the guiding – providing research on soldiers from Effingham, managing to help so many students find relatives and for accommodating all our changes to the itinerary without any grumbling!"


Harrogate Grammar School, North Yorkshire

"Excellent service and efficiency! Hugely enjoyed by staff and kids!!"


The Park High School, King's Lynn

"The accommodation was excellent. You obviously know your stuff as the location of staff rooms relative to kids' was perfect. The coach drivers were excellent, really friendly and open to all we wanted to do. We had probably one of the best school trips ever!


Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire

"As usual, everything went smoothly thanks to the organisational skills of Galina! Many thanks again."

  British Helmet

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