Remembrance Day 2018: Trinity Academy pupils curate memorial garden after poignant trip

Nieve Whaley and Sophia Woodhouse pose in the new Remembrance Garden at Trinity Academy.
Nieve Whaley and Sophia Woodhouse pose in the new Remembrance Garden at Trinity Academy.

A remembrance day memorial garden designed by two Trinity Academy pupils was unveiled this morning.

The garden, which stands within the school grounds, was inspired by the experiences of Nieve Whaley and Sophia Woodhouse, both 15, after the pair visited the Somme on a school trip in February.

The girls were chosen to lay wreaths during their trip to Europe in February.

The girls were chosen to lay wreaths during their trip to Europe in February.

Alongside the Somme, the pair visited the Thiepval Memorial in France and Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ypres, where 10,000 Commonwealth soldiers are buried. The girls were lucky enough to be chosen to lay the wreath at the Ypres Last Post Ceremony, something they said they would never forget.

“The trip we went on was very emotional," said Sophia, "it’s completely different standing there where people died than to learn in the classroom. It’s important to remember what they did and this seemed a good way to do it.”

Teacher Paul Robinson, who accompanied the girls on the trip, said the school is proud of the tribute.

"We hope that it will provide generations of pupils here at Trinity Academy a place to enjoy and pay their respects.

The girls pose at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in February.

The girls pose at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in February.

"We take remembrance very seriously here, we have a service every year and we feel it is important to teach pupils about the sacrifices made during the war.

"We hope this will encourage that."

The girls organised a collection in the Academy and raised over £200. Principal Nick Robinson agreed to put a similar amount towards creating the garden, enabling the school to buy a memorial stone along with the flowers and memorial tree.

A dedication service took place at 11am in front of around 30 staff and members of the local community. The students led the ceremony and dedicated the service to soldiers from around the Calderdale region and to those who attended the school itself.