Simon Bendry is the programme director of the government-funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, run by the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and tours provider Equity. The free programme gives two students and one teacher from every Secondary school in England the chance to visit the battlefield sites in Ypres and the Somme. There are only four tour seasons left before the programme concludes in spring 2019, and teachers can sign up via www.centenarybattlefieldtours.org.
A century on from the First World War, today’s students are increasingly distanced from the lives and experiences of those who fought in the conflict. There are fewer and fewer people who can talk to grandparents and great grandparents about the war, and how it affected people living at the time, from soldiers to women and children on the Home Front.