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Monday 16 April 2018 - London

Venturing outside the capital today, the group travelled to the town of Harefield which, during World War I, was used an Australian military hospital. A combined commemoration was held with the student leaders of Harefield Junior School at Harefield Anzac Cemetery where Australian diggers lay in rest. Upon arrival back in London, they visited the HMS Belfast and held a commemoration ceremony.


Photos of the students' visit to Harefield have been added to the photo gallery.

Student views

Reflections on the first tour commemorations

Today started with a trip to the nearby town of Harefield, a quaint little village just 45 minutes outside of London city. Our first stop was the Harefield Anzac Cemetery, where the memorials of 111 Anzac soldiers and one nurse are located. We started our visit with a group service, which included eight student leaders from Harefield Junior School. We then proceeded with the five individual eulogies, presented by Shana, Jack, Isabelle, Fenlan and Jodi. The commemorations were very moving and it was great to share with the children from Harefield. The strong connection between Harefield and the Anzacs was evident in the enthusiasm that the young primary students showed at this ceremony.

After a delicious lunch at a green park in Harefield, we returned to London and walked across one of London's most iconic bridges, the Tower Bridge. After some sightseeing, we went to the HMS Belfast for our next group and individual commemorations. This ship, which has been turned into an interactive historical experience, offered an insight into what life would have been like for the soldiers working for the British Navy.

We returned to our hotel and enjoyed a pleasant dinner on our last night in London. We are all very excited to depart for Paris tomorrow morning as we continue this amazing trip.

By Tyla Craven-Griffiths and Shana Coyle

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:

Harefield St Mary's Churchyard

Driver Gordon Gale Stewart
(Commemorated by Shana Coyle)

Gordon Gale Stewart, was born on the 10th November 1895 in Broken Hill, New South Wales. Gordon was extremely passionate about protecting his country. He spent two years before the war training in the Western Australia 84th Infantry, also known as the Goldfield Regiment. In May of 1915, at the age of 19, Gordon enlisted into the Australian Army Medical Corps. Gordon was eventually discharged on the 24th May 1919, returning to Sydney on the 1st April.

Gunner Ellis George Staggard
(Commemorated by Jack Frey)

Enlisted in the army on the 25th November 1940, Ellis George Staggard was sent to the Middle East where he served in Tobruk Libya as a gunner in the 2/12 Australian Field Regiment. Ellis was honourably discharged for family reasons. Ellis served from the 3rd December 1940 to the 11th February 1944. Ellis received the 39/45 Star Medal, African Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and Australian Service Medal.

Signaller Frank Lacelles Jardine
(Commemorated by Isabelle Jardine)

Frank Alexander Lacelles Jardine enlisted in the First World War on the 30th October 1914 at 21 years of age. He became part of the 5th Light Horse Regiment, the larger 2nd Light Horse Brigade and Squadron B under the leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Hubert Harris. Frank received the 1914-15 star, British War medal and the Victory medal for his service.

Private Colin Edmonds
(Commemorated by Fenlan Miller)

Colin Joseph Edmonds, born on the 30th December 1913 in Inverell New South Wales. Colin enlisted in the Second World War in 1939. During his service, Colin was captured by the Japanese forces as a prisoner of war and sent to Changi POW camp with the battalion. He was pronounced "MIA presumed KIA" and endured years of captivity and starvation before returning home on the 8th October 1945.

Staff Nurse Ruby Dickinson
(Commemorated by Jodi Pallett)

Ruby Dickinson of the Australian Army Nursing Service spent 4 months working at the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Lemnos. In early 1917, Ruby returns back overseas and spent some time with the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in London. Eventually she re-joins the 3rd Australian General Hospital when she moves to France. On the 23rd June 1918, Ruby was sent to the Southwell Gardens Hospital for nurses where she died later that day of pneumonia.

HMS Belfast

Private James Charles Martin
(Commemorated by Shana Coyle)

James Charles Martin enlisted on the 12th April 1915 at the age of 14. He is known as one of the youngest Australian soldiers to lose their life in World War I. Mere weeks after he arrived in Gallipoli, James contracted typhoid fever and tragically passed away due to heart failure on the 25th October 1915.

Private William Henry Malthouse
(Commemorated by Jodi Pallett)

After 20 years' experience with the Imperial Navy, William Henry Malthouse enlisted in the Australian Navy and Military Expeditionary Force. William had been captured by German forces and transferred onto the German Raider 'Wolf' where many Australians spent nearly 7 months on as it made its way to Germany, capturing more prisoners, coal and supplies along the way. William spent the rest of the war a prisoner on 'Wolf' and at the Gustrow Prisoner of War Camp.

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