Press Releases 2014-2015

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Secondary PGCE Students take part in the Menin Gate Last Post Memorial Ceremony


Over the Easter break twenty six Secondary PGCE students and five tutors from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) visited Paris and Ypres.

UWTSD Students

The aim of the trip was to explore opportunities for developing cross-curricular teaching resources and students were expected to develop a detailed scheme of work as part of the experience.

Whilst in Paris the students sought inspiration for their work through visiting famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Mussée de l’Armee and the Tomb of Napoleon. On the final leg of their journey the group travelled to Ypres and visited the war grave of the famous Welsh poet Hedd Wynn at Artillery Wood Cemetery, the Welsh War Memorial and a German War Cemetery at Langemark.

The University were honoured to have been invited by the Last Post Association to take part in the 29913th Menin Gate Memorial Ceremony on the 30th March 2015. The Last Post was a bugle call played in the British Army to mark the end of the day's labours and the onset of the night's rest. In the context of the Last Post Ceremony, it has come to represent a final farewell to the fallen at the end of their earthly labours and at the onset of their eternal rest. The ceremony has taken place every evening at 8pm since 1928.

Ian Roberts, Secondary PGCE History Tutor said: “The journey to the trenches will remain long in the memory of all those who visited. I wish to thank the Last Post Association for inviting the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to take part in the 29913th Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate. We hope that the resources which the students have developed will support pupils in schools to continue to learn about the sacrifice of all the soldiers who took part in the Great War.”  

For Susan Smith, Secondary PGCE Design and Technology Tutor, and Jason Plummer, Secondary PGCE History Student, the visit to Menin Gate had a very personal poignancy. Susan was able to pay respect to her great uncle whose name is listed on the Memorial Wall at Menin Gate, whilst Jason, prior to enrolling on the Secondary PGCE programme had served in the RAG regiment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Both took part in ceremony and 11 year old Carys Brooks laid a wreath of behalf of the University. 

James Short, PGCE History Student said:

"For me, the most memorable part of our visit was attending the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate. After enjoying the wonderful sights of Paris, the mood of our party had completely changed to one of silent respect. Against a backdrop of wind and rain, the notes of the Last Post rang out and our wreath was laid. Everyone dispersed, quiet, humbled and grateful. We shall never forget."

In closing the University’s remembrance of the fallen soldiers and their sacrifice, Religious Education PGCE students Chloe Cole, Stephanie Jones and Laura Shellard read poems and a prayer.

Richard Hiller, PGCS History Tutor said:

“The trip was absolutely fantastic and I'm delighted I could be a part of it. The one thing I will never forget was the ceremony at Menin Gate. The trumpets at the beginning and end, along with the singing during the wreath laying was so powerful that I feel it touched everyone in attendance. The fact that the University could be part of the service was the perfect way to feel a personal connection to that particular ceremony. I'm glad we could all be witness to such a fantastic and humbling trip.”

Megan Nicholas, PGCE student said: "The trip was eye opening, informative and enjoyable, highlighting how cross curricular links can help develop the learning of everyone, even teachers!"

Michael John, PGCE student said:" The trip was a fantastic experience, as intellectually stimulating as it was entertaining. It solidified my reasoning for becoming a teacher."

The PGCE Secondary course at UWTSD aims to prepare students to become confident and excellent secondary school teachers in their chosen subject area.  Creativity, innovation, critical reflection, academic rigour and professionalism are key attributes which are highly regarded on the course.


Note to Editor

1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University

2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University

3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014


Further Information

For more information please contact Sara Jones, PR and Communications Officer, on 07449 998 478 or via email at