Mildenhall College Academy to take part in unveiling of World War One monument in Belgium

The Christmas Truce Monument at Mesen, Belgium. Students and staff from Mildenhall College Academy travelled to Belgium to unviel the monument with counterparts from the Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, Germany. ANL-140512-100855001
The Christmas Truce Monument at Mesen, Belgium. Students and staff from Mildenhall College Academy travelled to Belgium to unviel the monument with counterparts from the Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, Germany. ANL-140512-100855001
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Staff and students from a Mildenhall school are taking a particularly special school trip this weekend - going all the way to Belgium to unveil an historic World War One monument.

More than 20 staff and pupils from Mildenhall College Academy are travelling to the Peace Village of Mesen, in Belgium, to unveil a monument to the 1914 Christmas truce, thought to be the first of its kind in Europe.

The trail-blazing project has been directed at every stage by Mildenhall College Academy students and their counterparts from Gymnasium Theodorianum School in Paderborn, in Germany.

They join a distinguished guest list including the UK and German Ambassadors to Belgium, the Mayor of Mesen, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for schools and skills and the Governor of Paderborn. Representatives from the academy’s sponsor, Academy Inspiration Trust, will also be attending.

Richard Kerridge, humanities faculty leader at Mildenhall College Academy, said: “This one of a kind project has been a fantastic opportunity for both our pupils, and those in Germany, to make a wonderful contribution to the First World War 100 year anniversary.

“We’ve been amazed at the support we’ve received and it’s great to hear schools are now also leaving footballs at the site when they are visiting.

“This monument is a product of the friendship between the pupils involved, and who were moved by this spontaneous act of humanity and resolved to design a fitting tribute.”

Students from both schools will be leading the unveiling ceremony, explaining how they created the memorial. During the two day visit, attendees will also observe the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate and an England vs Germany football match between pupils.

The venture received funding from the German Monuments and Cemeteries Commission and the Mildenhall Rotary Club, as well as the two schools involved and Academy Transformation Trust.