Foreign field trip brings WW1 history to life

Published: Thursday 15 September 2016

History and English degree students from Blackpool and The Fylde College have spent time in Belgium and France to learn first-hand about the role of the Jullundur Brigade – a Sikh Regiment from the Commonwealth who joined local Lancashire soldiers in the trenches during the First World War.

The students joined peers from various educational institutions throughout Lancashire for the trip, which was a joint project with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and Lancashire County Council’s Heritage Learning Team.

During the four-day trip, the group spent time at sites of historical significance including Menin Gate, Tyne Cot Commonwealth Graves Cemetery, which is the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world, Neuve Chapelle, including a visit to the Indian memorial, and the death cells in Poperinge, an Indian Army Hospital for those injured in WW1.

The Jullundur WW1 project was launched last year with Year 6 pupils from 16 Lancashire primary schools who had the task of writing a chapter each on the Brigade and the Indian Army. This year, the aim was to involve higher education students from the North West to add an academic angle. 

The intention was for the project to become a learning resource in each school in Lancashire, but the UK government have decided it will be used nationally. The Indian and Pakistan Governments also plan to use the resources along with the Canadians, while the US heritage department plan to use the exercise as a case study for how to do cross community heritage projects.

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