A TEENAGE poet was chosen to represent her school, town and country at a historic ceremony to commemorate the fallen on the battlefields of the First World War.

Elizabeth Cordell, from The Grange School in Runcorn, joined serving soldiers, veterans and special dignitaries at the famous Last Post ceremony at The Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

The 13-year-old travelled to the battlefields of France and Belgium to commemorate 100 years since the war ended.

The schoolgirl was asked to read a poem she wrote about the fallen as she laid a wreath at the memorial to the many thousands of British and Commonwealth troops buried at the spot.

Elizabeth said: “It was an honour for me to take part in this tribute to so many.

“It was a very emotional and special experience.

“The conditions and loss of life were terrible and the tour made me appreciate the sacrifice many made so that we can live free today.”

Elizabeth and teacher Chris Atkinson visited the military cemeteries of Lijessenthoek and Tyne Cot, the scene of the Battle of the Somme.

They also saw the resting place of John McCrae who wrote the poem In Flanders Fields.

“We had the chance to walk through the trenches and to see some of the horrendous conditions the soldiers must have had to experience,” added Elizabeth.

“We also heard about the soldiers going over the top and how many were cut down by machine gun fire after just a few steps.

“We visited The Danger Tree on the battlefield which was a place where you weren’t expected to survive for very long if you reached it.

“We also heard about the civilian loss of life and the sacrifices made by those who served as doctors and nurses in field hospitals.”

Grange headteacher Janette Vincent said: “We are really proud of Elizabeth for being chosen to take part in this special trip.

“We believe in providing our learners with opportunities to take part in educational experiences that can be truly life changing.

“We believe it makes them well-rounded members of society with a good knowledge of global issues.

“Clearly Elizabeth has learnt from the lessons of history and has brought back memories to share with us all.”