In the first week of the summer holidays, 28 Year 9 students and four staff travelled to France to see the sites associated with D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, which was the campaign launched by the Allies in 1944 to liberate France and hasten the defeat of Nazi Germany.
The group visited many of the key locations along the Normandy coast that were central to the story of D-Day, 6th June 1944, when a vast Allied invasion fleet composed mainly of US, British and Canadian forces crossed the Channel and fought their way onto the Normandy beaches. Among these were Omaha beach, one of the American sectors made famous in the film Saving Private Ryan, and Arromanches, scene of one of the 'Mulberry' or floating harbours, which were designed at Kingswood during the war when the school was taken over by the Admiralty. The group also visited some fascinating exhibitions, such as at the Caen Memorial Museum, as well as US, British and German cemeteries which vividly illustrated the scale of the sacrifice during the campaign. Kingswood, like many communities, suffered loss as a result of the Battle for Normandy, and the group was able to pay their respects at the grave of Old Kingswoodian Derek Grange, who was killed in August 1944, aged just 21.