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100th Anniversary Armistice Day Journey To Ypres

Students from around the borough were invited to take part in a journey of remembrance to Ypres with Mayor of Swale Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams and his wife, Doreen, on a journey of remembrance to Ypres, Belgium on 11th November, Armistice Day. C for organising them so well”.

Students from around the borough were invited to take part in a journey of remembrance to Ypres with Mayor of Swale Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams and his wife, Doreen, on a journey of remembrance to Ypres, Belgium on 11th November, Armistice Day. The Swale youngsters were also joined by other council dignitaries and Mayoral Cadet, Libby Carew of Sittingbourne and Milton Sea Cadets and to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate.

It was no surprise that the town centre was filled with, literally, thousands of visitors and locals wishing to pay their respects to the fallen and the Swale contingency joined the procession through the town to stand at the Menin Gate for the service of remembrance. A moving and emotional event made all the more poignant by the playing of the Last Post and by watching the thousands of symbolic poppy petals fall from the roof of the Menin gate to the ground.

Year 9 Fulston students Poppi Vincent and Ruby Demian both said “We are so privileged to have been invited to take part in this trip. The atmosphere has been amazing but we can’t get our heads around the fact that there are 55,000 names engraved on the Menin Gate and that bodies are still being dug up and men identified from over 100 years ago”.

The group were then taken to two cemeteries, Poelcapelle which is British and Langemark which is German where Mike Scott, tour guide from Guild of Battlefield Guides, told of the history of the cemeteries and of some of the men allegedly buried in the graves.

Sarah Palmer, staff member of Fulston Manor School, also commented “Swale Borough Council have run these remembrance trips for the young people of Swale since 2014 and so many students have taken part in the Armistice Day journey to Ypres because of them. I would personally like to thank each Mayor over the years and especially Martin Goodhew, Project Officer, of SBC for organising them so well”.