Sunderland school pupils set for France trip to locate war heroes

Pupils from New Bridge Academy at the First World War graves at the Somme in France.
Pupils from New Bridge Academy at the First World War graves at the Somme in France.
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Wearside school pupils are preparing to set off for France in a bid to track down our war heroes.

New Bridge Academy has again been awarded Heritage Lottery funding to continue with its residential trips to the Somme battlefields of Northern France.

The school was formed from the amalgamation of the former Springwell Dene School and Castlegreen School, both special schools for students with statements for social, emotional and mental health issues.

Pupils will go for a week-long residential trip to the battlefields on June 16 and are appealing for people to contact them if they would like them to find and photograph the grave or memorial of a fallen loved one.

During the last seven years, the school has located and photographed the graves or memorials of more than 40 soldiers and has never failed to find a grave or memorial for a family when requested.

The students visit the many historical sites in the area, particularly those where men from the North East Regiments saw action.

Assistant headteacher Allan Douglas said: “It brings home to the students the history of the war and the impact it had, and continues to have, on families in the area.”

The trip has developed from a historical visit into a service for the community.

Students photograph the graves or memorials of men killed in action in the area and often leave a message from the family.

Anyone wishing for the pupils to try to locate a grave should contact the school on 553 6067 with information they may have about their relatiion, such as service number, name, rank or regiment served.