School trip ideas to commemorate the centenaries of the Battles of Messines & Passchendaele

There is no better way to bring the past to life & the harsh reality of the First World War than by arranging a school trip to the Battlefields. With commemorations coming up later in 2017 for the battle centenaries of Messines & Passchendaele, here are the details of our 3 day History School trip to Ypres, Messines & Passchendaele.

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History School Trips to Ypres, Messines & Passchendaele - 3 day tour

Tour Highlights

Langemark German Cemetery

The German war cemetery of Langemark situated close to the village of Langemark, where more than 44,000 soldiers are buried. Langemark was the scene of the first gas attacks by the German army which marked the commencement of the second battle of Ypres in April 2015.

What started out in 1915 as a cemetery with a small group of graves, there have now been many changes and extensions & today visitors to Langemark German Cemetery will find a mass grave near the entrance  containing 24,917 servicemen, next to this mass grave are another 10,143 soldiers. Over 3,000 students & cadets are among the dead & are buried in a third part of the cemetery.

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). It is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world. The cemetery and its surrounding memorial are located outside of Passchendale. 

Passchendaele Museum

The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 is a military history museum sharing the story of the First World War with a focus on the Battle of Passchendaele. It is an experience museum, creating awareness about the life and techniques used during the war.

One of the highlights of a visit to the museum is the the Dug-out Experience. A flight of steps takes students into the underground world of the Western Front. Here, as they walk along main passage-way, lit by electric lights, they will find rooms for soldiers' accommodation filled with bunk beds, a medical post, workshops and the continuous sound of a pump keeping the dug-out dry. Outside the main building there is a trench system divided into three sections. The first shows a British trench early in the war, the second recreates a German trench whilst the final section depicts a British trench of 1917/18 complete with A-Frame duckboards. Taken together, they demonstrate the different construction techniques and materials used to build trenches over the course of the war. Notable within the museum itself is the display on gas warfare which contains a cylinder similar to those used by the Germans in the First Gas Attack.

There are also different varieties of gas shells developed later in the war as well as an array of gas-masks developed as counter-measures. There is also an interesting display on bunker construction showing how pre-fabricated a block-built bunker was assembled rapidly on the battlefield. Only the reinforced concrete roof of a bunker needed to be made "on-site."

The Last Post Ceremony at The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate Memorial commemorates almost 55,000 Missing of the Ypres Salient who were killed between 1914 and the 15th August, 1917. They include soldiers from Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the Indian subcontinent who lost their lives in the Salient but who have no known grave. The New Zealand Missing, as is that nation's tradition, are commemorated on a separate Memorial at Tyne Cot. The Gate was ultimately too small to take all the names so a further Memorial was created at Tyne Cot for those soldiers killed from the 16th August 1917 to the Armistice. Their names are recorded on the panels at the rear of the cemetery. The Last Post is sounded every evening at 8.00 p.m. in a short ceremony commemorating the fallen of the Salient. Every evening, the traffic is stopped shortly before 8.00 p.m. Buglars from the local fire brigade then sound the bugle call of the Last Post before a minute's silence. They then end the service by playing the Reveille. In recent years the service has often been extended to include a wreath-laying, music from a visiting choir or band and the reading of a short extract (known as the Exhortation) from Binyon's poem For the Fallen:

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

Other Visits that can be included are as follows:

Sanctuary Wood Trenches & Hill 62 • In Flanders Fields Museum • Lijssenthoek Cemetery • Talbot House & the Death Cell at Poperinghe • Bayernwald German Trenches • Hill 60 •

Have your own ideas for a visit, please advise us of any other location you would like to include on your trip.




 Langemark 1








Tyne Cot Cemetery Battlefield Burials








Menin Gate Last Post 1

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    We are dedicated to bringing you the latest news and updates regarding travel. 

    Please find below a joint statement from the STF and ABTA as of March 13th 2020. Our current understanding of the situation regarding school trips is as follows:

    • The government has advised schools that they should not undertake international school trips at this stage. This is due to concerns that the schools would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate. Schools will decide how to act upon this advice. If schools do cancel their trips, normal cancellation terms will apply.
    • Schools should contact either their own general insurers or the Department for Education as they may have some financial cover in place for this scenario. This is one of the areas we are seeking clarity on urgently, so we will update again as soon as we have more info.
    • The Government is not advising schools to stop trips within the UK so schools can proceed as planned if they wish. The Government is advising schools to refresh their risk assessments.Customers wanting to cancel must do so at their own cost, normal cancellation charges apply.

    Written on Friday, 13 March 2020 15:35
  • Brexit FAQ's

    Last edited 30.01.2020


    We now know that the UK will leave the EU at 23h00 (GMT) on 31 January 2020. Following Brexit we will enter a transition period which will run, at least, until the end of December 2020. During the transition period everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now.

    We will continue to monitor the information provided by travel industry experts, organisations like ABTA and the UK Government and pick out what we believe is relevant for you.


    Common questions about travel after 31 January 2020


    Will flights still operate?

    Yes. During the transition period, everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. 


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    Coaches will still be able to travel to, from and around EU countries as usual. 


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    We do advise you keep passports handy when travelling throughout Europe, as you may be required to prove your right to travel at border crossings or security checkpoints.

    You can always check on to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.


    Will I need a new passport?

    Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip. 

    If you are looking to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021, you will need your passport to both:

    • have at least 6 months left
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    If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    If you would like to know more take a look at the latest Government advice.


    Will I still be able to use a collective passport?

    Whilst the position as to the validity of collective passports for travel to the EU has not changed, if you are able to arrange for each traveller to have an individual passport which has the requisite validity, this may help to forestall any issues which might arise.


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    No. UK travellers will not need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. 


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    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

    ABTA has always advised when travelling to the EU and beyond, that it is important you take out travel insurance. Our tour price includes comprehensive travel insurance as standard. So, unless you advise us that your school or college has its own travel insurance and you wish to decline our insurance, you will automatically have insurance cover with us.

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    We have placed forward contracts for foreign currency so fluctuations in the exchange rate are highly unlikely to affect the price of your tour.

    Please note however that, if there is a change in legislation that will affect your overall tour price and which is out of our control, eg visa costs, surcharges, this cost would be passed on to you.

    As is always our policy at Next Generation Travel we will do our best to do the right thing to work with you to ensure your trip would continue.


    If you have not yet booked your tour:

    Due to our forward buying policy for foreign currency, we will work with you to ensure there is no or a low impact on pricing. The travel industry is reporting that the sensible advice is to book now to secure your booking on current currency rates.


    What is the law on price changes?

    If there are increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services post Brexit, the law says that package holiday providers, like Next Generation Travel, are permitted to increase their prices. However, we are pleased to confirm that there would be no change within 20 days of your departure and we would cover the first 2% of any price increase. In the unlikely circumstances that prices were to increase by more than 2% you may be asked to pay an additional fee however where the price increase is 10% or higher, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges.


    Will overall prices go up in the future?

    Tour prices in the future will always be open to normal market and economic fluctuations such as currency and service prices. Our foreign currency forward buying policy means we always look to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuationsHowever, overall tour prices may in the future be affected by changes in legislation such as visa costs, surcharges etc. or increased cost in services such as flights or ferry crossings.

    At Next Generation Travel our experienced staff will always provide you with a tour price which is based either on the actual current rates for your service or estimated rates which are based on our extensive knowledge of the travel and industry. We will always communicate any price changes as they are given to us and have an open and honest pricing policy, which will ensure you should have no surprises later on.

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    Written on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 14:44
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