Students from Harrow have retraced the footsteps of First World War soldiers who fought in the Somme 100 years ago.

The group from Shaftesbury High School travelled to the Western Front on Sunday, February 7, to take part in an education programme and battlefield tour run by the UCL Institute of Education.

The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, funded by the government, is designed to help teachers and students from every state funded secondary school in England to develop a deeper understanding of the Great War.

The students were exposed to regional and personal stories of the men who fought in the Somme battle in 1916 to bring back and share with their home community.

They were also challenged to think critically about the social, economic and political consequences of the war, its impact on other nations and the role played by the Empire and the Commonwealth.

During the three-day tour the students visited the battlefield sites, Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials and cemeteries in the Somme including Thiepval Memorial, as well as Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel, Sheffield Memorial Park at Serre, Ulster Tower and Thiepval Wood.

The initiative aims to make it easier for students to visualise the scale of the war and the lives lost.

The group also attended The Last Post Ceremony in Ypres, Belgium, which takes place under the Menin Gate every single night of the year.

Here buglers of the Ypres volunteer fire brigade sound the ‘Last Post’ before a minute’s silence to reflect on the sacrifice of those lost.

On their return, the students from Shaftesbury High will undertake a Legacy 110 project encouraging them to share their experiences of visiting the battlefield sites of the Western Front through developing post tour community projects.

The Legacy 110 initiative is designed to encourage students to reach out to their local communities and create a lasting legacy for the First World War Centenary.

The best projects will get national recognition through the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme website and special events designed to celebrate their achievements.