Mildenhall College Academy students and staff travel to Belgium for unveiling of historic World War One monument

Pupils from Mildenhall College Academy and Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, Germany unveil a new memorial to the World War One Christmas truce in Mesen, Belgium ANL-140912-132614001
Pupils from Mildenhall College Academy and Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, Germany unveil a new memorial to the World War One Christmas truce in Mesen, Belgium ANL-140912-132614001
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Students and staff from Mildenhall College Academy helped to make history on Saturday when they unveiled a World War One monument in Belgium.

More than 20 school representatives travelled to the Peace Village of Mesen to unveil the historic memorial to the Christmas truce in 1914, thought to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Mildenhall College Academy principal Susan Byles places a candle on the new memorial at Mesen in Belgium ANL-140912-132601001

Mildenhall College Academy principal Susan Byles places a candle on the new memorial at Mesen in Belgium ANL-140912-132601001

Pupils led the project with counterparts from the Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, Germany to create, and unveil the monument.

The sunset ceremony was opened by the British and German Ambassadors to Belgium, Alison Rose and Eckart Cuntz, and the event included speeches from Mildenhall students and staff about the monument’s creation.

Also on the guestlist were Vicky Ford, MEP for the East of England, the Mayor of Mesen, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for schools and skills and the Governor of Paderborn.

Richard Kerridge, humanities faculty leader at Mildenhall College Academy, said: “We are all honoured to have been involved in creating a fitting tribute to the spontaneous act of humanity that was the Christmas truce of 1914.

“The ceremony was a fitting end to what has been a fantastic project, one that has allowed both our pupils, and those in Germany, to make a wonderful contribution to the World War One centenary.”

The ambassadors tied football scarves together, which were placed on the monument by pupils. Vicky Ford also laid a football signed by MEPs in tribute to the 1914 Christmas truce football matches.