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Thursday 13 April 2017 - London

Sightseeing continued today, on foot, with the tour group walking major sites of London including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Churchill War Rooms. The group held a commemoration service at the Australian War Memorial External Link. Following the group service, individual commemorations were held for a number of service people.

The evening was spent cruising on the Thames.


Photos of the students' tour of London have been added to the gallery.

Student views


Today was our second day touring London. We started with the Churchill War Rooms which were extremely interesting and we were able to discover lots more about Winston Churchill's involvement in World War II. We then moved to see the changing of the horse guard, before proceeding to walk through St James Park, which had beautiful floral gardens, continuing through to a cafe where we were able to indulge in a scone and cappuccino. We continued to walk through the streets of London and saw the Cenotaph and a memorial dedicated to the Women of World War II. After purchasing some souvenirs from a small street shop, we saw the iconic Trafalgar Square and took lots of photos, in particular, with the lion statues.

We then hopped back on the coach and travelled to the Australian Memorial; the site of our first commemorative service. Whilst we faced challenges competing with the noise of London traffic, we all enjoyed reflecting upon the actions and sacrifices made by the troops involved in the Gallipoli Campaign. After seven of our tour group members commemorated their researched service people, we recognised the significant contribution of the New Zealand soldiers by listening to their national anthem at a memorial dedicated their brave soldiers.

We then moved to the sensational Buckingham Palace and although the Queen wasn't home at the time, we were certainly captivated by the amazing size and architecture of Her Majesty's palace. We then visited Westminster, in which we saw Westminster Abbey and the iconic Big Ben, before having a cruise along the river Thames. This was very interesting as we were able to learn lots more about the sights surrounding the river and we were thoroughly entertained the entire time by a crew member's comedic explanation of key sights, such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge and London Bridge. We then had an enjoyable dinner at a restaurant named Giraffe located in South Bank. Today was jam-packed, but super rewarding as we were truly able to learn so much about some key London sites.

By Marissa Ellis and Charlotte Solomon

Student and chaperone commemorations

Each member of the tour group researched three service personnel. This information has been captured in a State Library of Queensland Historypin.

Commemorations were held today for:

Menin Gate (no known grave)

John Auguste Emile Harris

Lance Corporal John Auguste Emile Harris
(Commemorated by Chase Pontifex)

Lance Corporal John Harris, was only 15 when he enlisted on the 2 June 1915 in Liverpool, NSW. Harris stated his age as 18, allowing him to join the 2nd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement. Tragically, Harris was killed in action at the age of 15 years 10 months, on the 6 August 1915.

Private Billy Sing

Private Billy Sing
(Commemorated by Brooklyn Lade)

During his time in the Australian Light Horse, Billy quickly became well known for his skill as a sniper and was written about in the Australian, British and American Press. He was known as The Murderer or The Assassin. For his efforts at Gallipoli, Billy was Mentioned in Dispatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton, and awarded the British Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Driver Douglas Barrett-Lennard

Driver Douglas Barrett-Lennard
(Commemorated by Bella Clarke)

Douglas Graham Barrett-Lennard, born on 27 May 1894 at St. Leonard's in Western Australia. He enlisted on 23 September 1914. He was assigned the rank of a Driver. At the age of 21, he was killed by an exploding shell and is buried at Shell Green Cemetery, Turkey.

Private William Cammack

Private William Cammack
(Commemorated by Hannah Taylor)

Born sometime in 1879 in New York, England. William served in the Boer War before enlisting in the First World War at the age of 35. He was killed in action on the 20 May 1915, leaving behind his wife and 5 children.

Private Alexander Kemp

Private Alexander Kemp
(Commemorated by Nicholas Margetts)

Enlisted in the AIF on 1 May 1915 at 18 years and eight months of age. Alexander served for four months until he died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. He is commemorated at the Ari Burnu Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Private Albert Cramer

Private Albert Cramer
(Commemorated by Matisse Reed)

At the age of 15, Albert's mother opposed his enlistment. However, along with his best friend, Albert eventually travelled to Melbourne (over 1500 kilometres away) to enlist underage. He did not live to see his 16th birthday as he was killed in action somewhere in Gallipoli.

Battery Sergeant Major Douglas Frederick Handford

Battery Sergeant Major Douglas Frederick Handford
(Commemorated by Sean Maher)

Born May 1885. Enlisted August 1914, aged 29. Douglas landed at 7am on 26 April at Gallipoli. The guns of his battery being quickly positioned in a very hazardous position, barely five metres behind the front line. Douglas was killed in action on 6 August 1915 during the battle for Lone Pine.

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