STUDENTS from South Bromsgrove High School recently travelled to France to visit battlefield sites and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The annual trip, which has been running for 20 years, encourages students to research their families and find out if their relatives fought in the Great War.

Paul Topping, headteacher, said: “South Bromsgrove High has run visits to the battlefields for a number of years and hundreds of students have returned with an enhanced historical knowledge and an emotional connection with the human aspects of conflict.”

Several students who found graves belonging to their ancestors left a cross of remembrance on behalf of their families.

Mr Topping added: “Teachers are always keen to promote research by students about war graves associated with their own extended family or the Bromsgrove area and, in 2014, this will form an important aspect of our school’s commemoration of the centenary year.”

Three students took part in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres where they laid two wreaths, one on behalf of the school and the second on behalf of John Holland, a history teacher at South Bromsgrove High School.

Mr Holland's great great uncle, Tommy Crosbie, was killed during the Battle of Arras in 1917.

The group of 47 pupils visited Commonwealth War cemeteries and the Somme in Northern France.

The tour is part of the school's centenary commemorations, which will also include an exhibition and an evening of drama, song and poetry during the autumn term.