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Two students were given the chance to learn more about the story of a Plymouth soldier who died in World War I thanks to a First World War Centenary tour.

The programme,which aims to give two students from every state-funded secondary school in England the opportunity to visit WW1 sites in France and Belgium, is a key part of the Government's plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Melissa and Connor, who are both in Year 11, took part in active research about how the war affected their local community and they researched the location and history of a soldier from Plymouth, who fought and died during the conflict.

"We were tasked with finding Frederick James Lake," explained Mr Arnold, Head of Humanities, who accompanied the students on the trip earlier this month.

"Although he fought with the Royal Fusiliers, Lake was born and raised in Plymouth. We discovered that he lived at 81 Oakfield Terrace in Cattedown and was killed on 10 August 1917 during the third Battle of Passchendaele.

"On our final day we were able to find his grave at the Tyne Cot Memorial, just outside Ypres and lay our own, personal commemoration to a young man who died in conflict at the age of just 23.

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"The scale of all the sites and the sheer volume of life lost during this conflict was staggering."

 The tour was packed with activities - including an evening of research in Ashford, Kent before setting off.

"There were some excellent opportunities for teachers to develop World War 1 topics too," said Mr Arnold.

"In order to make the experience as unique as possible, the programme involved current serving personnel, who accompanied students on the trip from 13-16 March 2015.

"These servicemen and women shared their experience of combat and were able to talk to the students about their lives, frontline combat and how life for a soldier has changed over the past 100 years.

The College is organising its own battlefields trip, where 40 students will get the opportunity to visit the same area next November.

"The experience that Connor and Mel had on the trip has enabled us to put together a powerful programme," said Mr Arnold.

"It will have a lasting impact on students and help them to understand how the Great War impacted on the lives of people from where we live."

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