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Saturday 21 April 2018 - Bruges

Today the group explored one of Europe's most charming medieval towns, starting with a cruise on the canals before wandering through the cobbled streets of Bruges. After a couple of hours roaming the many chocolate shops and cafes the students returned to Ypres via a visit to the New Irish Farm Cemetery.

Photos of the students' tour of Paris have been added to the photo gallery.

Student views


The day started with a beautiful foggy sunrise over the Belgium countryside and the gorgeous town of Ypres. Today was seen as a much needed rest day by the group that was kicked off by a sleep in and a late breakfast. The plan for today was to explore the beautiful medieval town of Bruges, which the group was very excited about.

After a relaxing karaoke filled bus ride through Belgium we arrived on the outskirts of town and were greeted by a gorgeous wall of green and a small, quaint bridge across an enchanting moat. On the other side, a skyline dominated by ornate and towering church spires, bell towers with narrow cobblestone streets and a beautiful medieval bridge. It was as if we had entered a different time.

After a cruise along the amazing canals of Bruges, given as a taste for the day in store, we were left to our own devices to explore the town, or at least the waffle and chocolate shops anyway. Wandering through the town with the group was an amazing experience, one that I will not forget. Certainly a highlight of the day was witnessing Princess Anne arrive in the town, escorted by police motorcycles and James Bond-style Range Rovers, as well as meeting some of the lovely police officers on duty.

After strolling the streets and doing a spot of shopping we were then back on our way home to Ypres. We walked through the Flanders Fields Museum, which was an incredible collection of stories and artefacts from the surrounding area. I know for many of us in the group this museum really hit us hard as the true atrocity and horror of the Great War was fully realised through the expertly researched and presented displays.

By Fenlan Miller and Jack Frey

Student and chaperone commemorations

Each member of the tour group researched three service personnel. This information has been captured in a State Library of Queensland Historypin.

A commemoration was held today for:

New Irish Farm Cemetery

Private John Lancelot Andrews
(Commemorated by Fenlan Miller)

John Lancelot Andrews was born on the 26th January 1901. On the 29th December 1916, John enlisted at the age of 15. He joined the 54th Infantry Battalion AIF. On the 24th January, John set sail for England where he began his training. The 54th Battalion had fought in numerous battles and offenses throughout the duration of the war. During the Battle of Polygon Wood, John was part of a Lewis gun section on the front line. On the 26th September 1917, the trench John was in was hit by German artillery and John was killed in action.

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