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This year’s tour

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In April 2019, winners of the Premier’s Anzac Prize visited significant memorial sites in London and the Western Front battlefields in France and Belgium. See the journey of the tour through images, videos and diary entries written by the students.

 

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Recipients of the 2019 Premier's Anzac Prize:

Annabel Jellett Queensland Academy for Health Science
Atticus Solomon Ambrose Treacy College (Indooroopilly)
Chontelle Harris Pimlico State High School
Claudia Maher Brigidine College (Indooroopilly)
Claudia McPherson Matthew Flinders Anglican College
Douglas Gemmell Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Ella Magner Pimlico State High School
Madeline Francis Tamborine Mountain State High School

Chaperones:

Darlene Hill Kepnock State High School
Peter Townsend Mundubbera State School

Accompanied by 2 chaperones, an Australian historian and their mascot Trooper Jones, the 8 students visited key sites important to our Australian war history, including attending the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. New to this year’s tour was a visit to the amazing Naours Caves and Cobbers Night, a wonderful celebration between the French and Australians. Prior to the tour the students and their chaperones researched the lives of 3 service people from WWI and an earlier conflict. These service people were honoured on tour through a personalised commemorative service at their gravesite or memorial site. A number of participants also commemorated an ancestor making the service even more significant.

2019 tour

Diary entry by Claudia Maher and Chontelle Harris

So today we woke up (some of us after breakfast) and packed our things ready to travel to France. We all had such an amazing time in Belgium with so many memories made but it was time to say goodbye to Ypres. We hopped on the coach and headed to the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Our tour guide Pete is a fountain of knowledge and along the way taught us so much about the local battles fields and positions of the German and Allied front lines. We then went to Bailleul Cemetery and noticed how cemeteries are built differently with sometimes two 2 soldiers commemorated on one 1 gravestone and learnt about how people from different religions remember the soldiers. Island of Ireland Peace Park is where we stopped for lunch, reading the insightful World War I poems to give us a true understanding of what it was like to be within that atmosphere. While here we discovered some of the history of the Irish in the War. We spoke about conscription and how some battalions were kept separate due to religious differences.

At the Bullecourt Digger Memorial, after holding our special commemorative service, Pete gave us a great understanding of the Battles of Bullecourt and the equipment our Australian soldiers used to carry. We then all found a few wartime souvenirs like belt buckles, shrapnel and German bullets in a nearby field after searching for them. We all found it amazing how even over 100 years later remnants can still be found of the war. Next stop was the Slouch Hat Memorial where we saw a French Church rebuilt after it was devastated in the war. Today was a big day about discovering what took place on the battlefields we are travelling through and gaining an understanding about the experience of our soldiers. That concluded our day of touring as we checked into our hotel and went for dinner at a local pub. But of course first we all had to play a game of Uno before going to bed.

Last updated 09 July 2019