Pupils pay tribute to WW1 veterans

The class with their medals and trophy.
The class with their medals and trophy.

Pupils from Burnhaven Primary School paid tribute to those who fought and fell at the Battle of Jutland during a three day all-expenses paid trip to Orkney.

The nine pupils and two teachers, travelled to the islands from June 1 to 3 after winning first place in Legion Scotland (Royal British Legion Scotland)’s annual primary school competition.

Drew Latta (10) and Ryan May (9) at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre.

Drew Latta (10) and Ryan May (9) at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre.

During their time on the islands they visited key landmarks and locations including Scapa Flow, Britain’s main naval based during World War One where seven battleships still lie today, the Italian Chapel and Hoxa Defensive battery.

The children also paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the biggest naval battle of WWI by laying commemorative crosses at the Royal Naval Cemetery Lyness.

More than 6,000 British personnel and 2,500 Germans died in on May 31, 1916 during the Battle of Jutland which took place in the North Sea near Denmark 100 years ago.

Teacher, Christian Ritchie, said: “Going on the trip brought all the stories, photographs and reports the pupils had collated as part of their research to life. Being able to see the shipwrecks and visit the cemetery really brought home the human collateral of the battle. This was a once-in-a-lifetime school trip that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.”

Giovanna Strachan, Miller Morrice and Euan Aiken give a salute.

Giovanna Strachan, Miller Morrice and Euan Aiken give a salute.

The annual competition, run by Scotland’s largest veteran’s membership charity, challenged P5, P6 and P7 pupils to use their imaginations and produce a newspaper article about life on board a First World War battleship.

Burnhaven’s entry, which reported the story of the British fleet sailing into Scapa Flow after engaging in the Battle of Jutland, received 28% of the 5,000 public votes cast, along with the votes of the final judges securing them the top place – and the trip to Orkney.