Teen finds relative's name on Belgian memorial
3:34pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in News
A BLAENAVON schoolboy has found the memorial of a relative who died in the First World War during a school trip to Belgium.
Jake Tidley, 16, went on the trip to Ypres with Abersychan School to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war.
While there, he located the Menin Gate Memorial - on which his great great uncle George Turner is remembered.
Jake’s grandfather, Terry Tidley, 71, who has been researching his family tree for more than 20 years, said it would be an emotional to see the memorial and Jake was able to take a photograph of it for him.
Mr Turner died in the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915, age 29.
Although his body was never found, Mr Turner is remembered on panel 37 of the memorial located there.
The school trip took place during the Easter Holidays, with 43 pupils visiting WWI Battlefields, cemeteries and memorials.
They were given a guided tour of the Ypres Salient and visited Essex Farm Cemetery to see the grave of the war poet, John McCrae.
They also visited the grave of the Welsh Bard, Hedd Wynn, whose poem The Hero had won the 1917 Eisteddfod after his death fighting near Ypres.
They left a cross of remembrance at the largest allied cemetery in the world, found at Tyne Cot, and took part in a remembrance service at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
During the ceremony, Jake Tidley and Jessica Roberts laid a wreath on behalf of Abersychan School.
History teacher, Barrie Evans, said: “The pupils found the trip profoundly moving.
“All agreed that, especially this year on the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, it is more important than ever that we remember the sacrifice of all soldiers who gave their tomorrow for our today.”
During the trip they also the Somme Battlefield, where 420,000 British soldiers had been killed or wounded in 1916.
They then visited Mametz Wood, the Somme Museum and the Museum of the Great War.
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