On October 20, as part of a school visit to the Ypres Salient and Somme battlefields, we attended the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. This most moving occasion has taken place every night (apart from during the German occupation) since the First World War.
As a party, we found the experience very emotional and were extremely aware of the great sacrifice made by our forefathers in the fight for the freedom we now enjoy. However, we were dismayed and disgusted by the negative attitude and lack of respect shown by another English school party whose behaviour understandably provoked the usual reaction from adults nearby. We wish to publicly disassociate ourselves from such "youth of today".
Several of our group held personal links with names honoured on the memorials; we were all deeply affected by the cemeteries we had visited, realising that many of the young men killed were no older than we are now. We will not forget.
The Joseph Rowntree School