Six pupils from the 8th Norwich (Norwich School) Sea Scouts have been awarded the prestigious scouts explorer belt, which is recognised as 'a challenge of a lifetime.'
One of the requirements to receive the award is to plan and undertake an international 10 day expedition ad then give a presentation of the trip. For pupils, Harry Peachment, James Hill, Joshua Gilmore, Joshua Gray, Joseph Osborne and Finlay Brown, what started as a self-led and planned cycling expedition, through northern France, became a pilgrimage of remembrance. Their 500 mile, 11 day journey, carrying all their own kit, had all the highs, lows and laughs that you'd expect on an expedition. Overcoming the physical and mental challenges was impressive enough. What they didn't anticipate was just how profoundly the experience of travelling through so many of the cemeteries of the countless fallen, would affect them, particularly when they found the graves of 17 fallen Norwich School "Old Norvicensians" at which they paid their respects.
"Every year in the school's Remembrance Service we hear the list of names of the ONs who died in the WW1 and WWII." said James Hill. This year, as I listened to the list, I could visualise the graveyards in France. It was very powerful."
The group were congratulated on the quality of their presentation, including a moving video of the trip. Ian Hayward, who leads the 8th Norwich Sea Scouts is proud of what the boys have achieved. "What was remarkable, was how they connected with those young men from over 100 years ago and brought that experience home to share with us in such an mature and articulate way.
To view the video of the trip produced by pupil Harry Peachment, as part of receiving his prestigious scouts explorer belt, click here.