A TEENAGER had an insight into his ancestor’s past during an emotional trip to the battlefields of the First World War.

Jack Griffiths, 14, was one of 90 Year 10 pupils from the FitzWimarc School in Hockley Road, Rayleigh, who took part in the GCSE history visit to the First World War battlefields around Ypres and the Somme

Before he went Jack’s mum Jo, 46, told him of a great, great uncle who was killed in the war and gave him details of his grave.

Jack, who managed to find his relative’s grave, said: “I remembered that I had been given some information from my mum about my great-great-uuncle Albert Louis Hales who was buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery.

“My teacher presented the information to the coach driver and he then spent the next ten minutes researching where it was and if we could get there.

“We found where the grave was and as I was writing a message on a wooden cross, they set off to find the grave. The message that I wrote on the cross read, ‘We will never forget you. Thank you. From your loving family.’”

Jack said the discovery had made him more aware of the sacrifices made by those that fought in the war.

He said: “It had been a very moving and thought-provoking special moment for me and I had a tear in my eye as I walked back to coach.

"I have returned with a greater understanding and respect for what our ancestors sacrificed for our freedom.”