We are at the terminal of the Eurotunnel and we are about to board the train. We have had our passports checked and we are looking forward to the train journey. We have had an amazing time but now we need your help.
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The children have had a very busy day today that started with a visit to Arras, which has caves under the Town Hall. The caves date back to 12th Century and have been used for many things, including storage fo merchants and a refuge Thor the local people during The War. Our tour was interesting and we will be adding pictures tonight.
We visited Wellington Quarry which was used to create tunnels to hide soldiers during preparation for the Battle Of Arras. The tunnels were created by Miners from New zealand. The tunnels were all named after New Zealand cities. The tunnels helped the allies attack the Germans with the element of surprise. We stood in the tunnels that the soldiers went out from to fight. British soldiers lived in Wellington Quarry for 8 days before the battle. It was very moving to stand in a place where many soldiers stood ready to fight. We thought about the many soldiers who died.
We visited Vimy Ridge, where there is a memorial to Canadian Soldiers who died in the battle. Vimy was significant because of the tactics in battle that were used. Many had died at the Somme previously and we found out that the Canadians used tunnels to protect soldiers from fence my fire and ensure they could rehearse battle plans before the fight. All soldiers knew the plan and all of them were given maps. The only secret was the date. Heavy guns were targeted by the allies and machine gun fire was used randomly to stop the Germans responding.
The Canadians and allies used a rolling barrage, ensuring that the artillery from their own army bombarded the Germans in front of them as they advanced. The Germans fired artillery over the top of the advancing Canadians, thus causing little damage.
The Germans were pounded by artillery fire for a week before the battle and this was called the week of misery. The commander of the Canadians ensured the Germans were defeated because off careful planning that has influenced military planning to the present day.
We had an amazing day and we will be going on a night hike soon. Please check back for pictures later. We would love comments.
We visited a boulangerie this morning and were shown how it is run by the owner. He explained how the equipment works and the children asked many questions. The children made bread and they were given some croissant and pain au chocolate to eat.
We went to them beach to make sand castles and now we are having a rest before lunch. Some of the boys went to rest in the garden.
We have had a lovely first day in France. The children have settled in to their dorms and we have been playing games on the beach for two hours. We have all been fed and the children are all getting showered before bed. All that remains is for us to have some hot chocolate before bed. A well earned rest is due for the children as we have a very busy day tomorrow.
We appreciate the comments that have been left and we hope you come and see what we have been doing. The children have been a credit to their families and we have had many compliments from the staff about the lovely behaviour they have seen. We will upload pictures soon so please come back soon.