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WW1 Trench Boxes

A trumpet used in the trenches during the First World War, a poignant love letter sent from the front and a faded packet of eye shields to protect soldiers from gas attacks were just some of fascinating items Year 9 collected for their WW1 project.

A trip to the battlefields of Belgium and France have very obviously made an indelible impression on the youngsters.

“They were taken aback by the sheer loss in numbers,” said their tutor John Wheeler.

“We went to the Somme and Ypres, and the Sanctuary Wood Preserved Trenches and Museum near Hill 62 in Belgium really brought the whole thing to life.”

On their return the pupils were asked to present a keepsake box from the trenches, filled with WW1 keepsakes and what a ordinary Tommy would have in their possession during the Great War.

Ben Jones, from St Asaph, said: “My Great Uncle who was a groom for his commanding officer on the front, had his life saved by a Princess Mary gift box.

“A bullet meant for him went into the box instead.”

The embossed brass box that originally contained a variety of items such as tobacco and chocolate was intended as a Christmas present to those serving at Christmas in 1914 and was paid for by a public fund backed by Princess Mary.

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