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WATCH: British and German pupils unite to remember First World War battle victims

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Nearly 90,000 British and German soldiers lost their lives at the Battle of Loos - the largest First World War battle.

And to mark 100 years since the fight, children from both countries came together in Staffordshire to honour those who died.

John Goodyear, who was raised in West Bromwich and is now head teacher at the Academy of English in Oldenburg, north west Germany, organised for a selection of his pupils to visit the Cannock Chase German War Memorial alongside pupils from High Arcal School in Dudley.

A service honouring the fallen was put together by Mr Goodyear, who believes the event marks how far relations between England and Germany have come since then.

He said: "This was put together for the young people, to give them a perspective of what happened in the First World War.

Pupils pay their respects during the service

"Not only is it important that they understand the sacrifices that were made and the loss of life, they need to be able to reflect at just how far removed we are now from that world.

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"Instead of battling one another, England and Germany share a great, friendly relationship these days.

A poignant moment as a military veteran carries his unit's flag through the cemetery for the service

"It will be down to these children to keep that going and days like this will prove very valuable, I am sure."

Mr Goodyear organised for the first meet up between the two sets of pupils last year, to mark the 100th anniversary since the First World War broke out.

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Pupils from both school during the service

He plans to organise an event to honour those who lost their lives in air warfare next autumn and continue getting the youngsters together each year until 2018, when it will be 100 years since the war ended.

Of this years event, which was held at the resting place of nearly 5,000 German soldiers, he said: "I think it was a really poignant day, particularly for those who have come over from Germany.

"To see the losses their country had to suffer is sure to bring things home for them."

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