Here in the Education section we love to know what you're working on in the classroom or at home. How are you researching and commemorating those who have served for Australia? Send in your pictures, poems, photos, or anything else you'd like to share to firstname.lastname@example.org. A selection of recent submissions is featured below.
Mt Carmel School,
Paige, Year 6
Students at Mt Carmel School in Yass were given the task to write to a soldier. The following letter and poem was written by year 6 student Paige.
Dear Anzac soldiers and army,
The first thing I would like to say is I am so incredibly thankful for your services to our country. If it weren't for your services Australia would be living our worst lives. I have the highest respect possible for the whole army and can’t wait to hear the new plans you have to keep Australia and New Zealand safe.
The training you go through is incredibly hard and I don’t know how you do it. From what I’ve seen you have to do swimming, running, obstacle courses, first aid, and shooting. For me, that’s a lot to do in just a little amount of time and it would be hard to process all the training into your memory, so thank you for giving up a lot of your time to give to Australia's people. I don’t know how you do any of it. It amazes me to learn about the training you go through to get into the army. I have even more respect for all of you when you go through this training to save our country although you know you could lose your lives.
The whole army has taught me to stay strong and to put others before me. You are putting your life at risk for the whole of Australia to save our lives and that is the highest level of respect and generosity. Also when you don’t mind or even whine about the food or how much training you do amazes me. I could never do what you do and would love to learn more about the experience.
As a project, I would love to meet up with your team and study about the planes, the training and maybe a small interview on what it is like to be a soldier in the army, what it is like to be on the battlefield and what it is like without your family for such long periods.
Once again thank you so much for your service to Australia and hopefully, you get this note.
The days are long and hard,
As poppy’s turn red,
As the battlefields grow old,
And as your families grow tired.
But you are strong,
And you are brave,
And when you step onto that battlefield,
We only pray.
We pray that you make it back alive,
And that you will remember us,
As we will always remember you.
For your fellow soldiers,
Say to yourself,
They are happy in heaven,
And have died to save us.
We have respect for you,
And always will,
For that, you have served our country,
And risked it all,
So keep fighting,
As we will keep fighting to remember you,
And as we remember you,
You stay strong,
And stay tough,
As we will never forget you.
Lest we forget
Mount Barker Community College
Hayden, Year 10
This poem was written by Hayden, a year 10 student from Mount Barker Community College in Western Australia. It formed part of his HASS course, and entry to the Mt Barker RSL High School Anzac Day competition, in which students investigated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in service personnel from the First and Second World Wars. The students presented their findings as a visual museum display.
Even the brave can be broken.
Soldiers. Stress. Courage. Death.
Men who were tough. Who once were there.
Came back broken. Fingers running through their hair.
They try and try but forget they not.
The trauma, the stress, the pain, the lot.
Suffer they do, through day and through night.
Though it be the loss, the death, the fright.
Flash backs come, unwanted they are.
From the bark of a dog or the horn of a car.
Many are hurt and scared within.
So we must understand the places they’ve been.
Wattle Grove Public School
Wattle Grove, NSW
Students from Wattle Grove Public School, created this film to show our solidarity in honouring our Defence Force Personnel for all that they have sacrificed so that we have the freedom that we have today.
Cathedral Catholic Primary School
Students and staff from Cathedral Catholic Primary School in Bathurst, created this film to show how they observed Anzac Day in 2020. Organised by the Religious Education Coordinator, and led by the school captains, the film demonstrates the school community’s commitment to the “Anzac at home” experience.
Sy, Ella, Tao, Kelby and Tintoela
While Sy, Ella, Tao, Kelby, and Tintoela the puppy could not attend a Dawn Service or parade like they usually do, they participated in their own service at home. The children dressed in their school uniforms, and donned their parents medals and service hats. The Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Australian Federal Police were represented. They spent the day thinking of the Anzacs, and other people who have served our nation.
AN ANZAC POEM
A war is raging in our backyard
To stop it we will have to work ourselves hard
When I go to the battle, I expect glory
But when I get there it is just pointless and gory.
I wonder to this day what was the point of the war?
It caused horrible suffering but then, that opened a door
This door brought out the best in people, being true and mighty brave
And that had an effect, like a ripple, like a wave.
People felt united, especially when
You walked up to their graves and said "Never again."
Everyone in the war deserves a reward,
So we can give them our love and let us move forward
War is something we will always regret,
The least we can do is say "Lest We Forget".
St. Luke's Catholic Parish School
The children in these difficult covid-19 times have brainstormed words to express how the soldiers might have felt while being transported onto the shores of Gallipoli.
The class carefully chose their words to match each soldier in the picture book. We noted there were 19 men in the boat and we discussed a variety of emotions and feelings.
Genazzano College Melbourne
After visiting the Australian War Memorial with her year six class, Bridget composed this poem:
'You ever realised what the ANZACS were willing to do?
They gave their lives for me and you.
You ever wonder it would be to see,
They died for you and me.
They had to live in blood and gore
They gave their lives to go to war.
You ever realise what they did
They gave their lives for us to live.
You ever feel bad when you’re alone
How ‘bout being a million miles
away from home?
Having to fight faithfully, hour after hour
inside their hearts were trembling outisde their muscle power.
They gave their lives for you and me,
They sacrificed themselves don’t you see?"
Central Coast Steiner School
New South Wales
The Australia in the First World War Memorial Box has been used by Year 9 students at Central Coast Steiner School as part of an empathy task. Students chose an item from the box to use as a stimulus in order to produce a poem, narrative or visual representation. Their teacher commented that using the items from the Memorial Box was powerful for the students and she was delighted by the quality of the stories and poems that the students produced. Here are two examples, Humanity by Lachlan and Death by Emma. Congratulations students! Here are the links:
Schools frequently borrow Memorial Boxes from the Australian War Memorial. See more information about our education outreach program.
New South Wales
In his speech Lachlan explores Sir John Monash’s contribution during the First World War, in particular his role in the Battle of Hamel. Lachlan also shares insights from his great great grandfather’s war diary during his time in Gallipoli and France.
William recently submitted an entry in to the 2018 Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize competition. He researched an Australian serviceman who played a significant role on Armistice Day. William used various sources including photographs and enlistment documents as part of his research. Thank you for sharing the story of Private ‘Tiny’ Toop with us.
Students at Truganina College learned about the significance of Remembrance Day this week and contributed to a display. Every student in the school from Foundation to Year 8 was involved.
Luke made this model of a Sopwith Camel as flown by the Australian Flying Corps during the First World War. The model, and accompanying research, were submitted for Luke's Year 9 History assignment.
Australian Air League
Members of Padstow Squadron, Australian Air League, produced this fantastic education display for the League's 2016 NSW Group Review. The theme this year was 'Australian Aviation in the Great War'. Cadets from 8 years and up made replicas of First World War aircraft, researching information and completing the display.
Marrara Christian College, NT
After completing the unit of study, students submitted to the Memorial their reflections on the First World War.
I am a year nine student at Marrara Christian College. We have been studying World War One this term and I will be telling you about what WW1 means to me. Although I had learnt about Anzac Day before, I understand what had happened better, I see Anzac Day differently now... read more
St. Luke's Catholic Parish School
Year 3 students at St. Luke's have been doing presentations, building a classroom exhibit, baking Anzac biscuits, and writing letters from Gallipoli. Well done Year 3.
The Daughter's Father in War
I am a daughter with a father in war.
He walked off;
I waved goodbye.
In the house there was silence.
Everyone was hoping we were going to see them again.
My boys are at war
In a little white house in Watervale
Balbina a widow Mother began to wail
As her six boys were going to war
All her boys had enlisted to join the Army Corp
My boys have gone off to war
Leaving behind our Aussie Shore
I do hope my boys will return home soon
To tell us of their war stories in our family room
Lest we forget
"The time has come" an Australian said,
"Bye" as he faced the door and ran ahead.
The war has started the battle begun,
Smack,boom,crash went the lethal gun.
Oww, the pain, other soldiers cried,
Most of their friends sadly died.
All the solders tried to laugh in glee,
But they all missed their family.
A soldier stands, proud and stiff,
in the centre of our town,
With a rifle, never to fire again,
with its barrel pointing to the ground
Through, rain, hail, shine and wind,
he reminds us as time passes by
That life doesn't always go your way,
it's just a beautiful lie.
Holy Cross Primary School, Kincumber
The night before the landing at Gallipoli
I peer through the darkness towards the shore's outline and it feels like it is thirstily staring back at me, daring me with its evil eye to set foot on its beach. The idea of dying brings a sharp pang to my gut and makes me feel uneasy. I huddle to the side of the boat and I can't keep my family from crossing my mind, that it may have been my last goodbye. Continue reading...
Corowa High School
Many thanks to Corowa High School for posting this film they made for the local Anzac Day dawn service in 2015, to mark the centenary.
A mother's love for her son
Planted in the Australian soil
Drank tears of her loss
We as a nation
Tend the tree
Like a new born
Feed with it Remembrance
Water it with Honour
And watch over it with pride
And never forget.
The soldiers fought for us then
As men fell, death took
Those who died for us bravely
Do not forget them
Gunfire, blood, smoke
Deafening soldier's ear drums
Screams, screams, everywhere
A True Anzac
T'was the 25th of April dawn about to break,
We had our rifles ready, oh how our shoulders ached.
I remember my mates silent, no-one dared to say a word,
We thought we saw some movement, but all our minds were blurred.
Some boots hit the sand, but some just sank straight down,
All I saw was a cliff face and a sea of khaki and brown.
13 year old Jess Love painted this artwork to represent the experiences of her family in wartime. Titled A Child's Sacrifice, the painting shows her father, Shaun, in the foreground. The image is based on a photograph taken while he was serving in Western Sahara. Shaun also served in East Timor, Iraq and Sinai. The silhouette is Jess' great grand-father, Ernest Gibson, who served during the Second World War.
Mullumbimby Public School & St John's Catholic School
Students from these schools participating in the opening of Re-Membering Our ANZACS exhibition by Deborah Gower at Ex-Services Club Mullumbimby on 11 November 2014. The display shows a number of wooden crosses with hand-written messages. These crosses are part of one of the AWM's First World War Centenary projects, which commemorates those who served and died during the First World War. Photos: Paul Schneider Photographics.
Bunbury Cathedral Grammar, New England Girls School, Oakburn College, The Armidale School, Trinity Anglican School & Vivek High School
A group of 46 students and staff from these schools visited the Gallipoli Peninsula in October 2014. All these schools belong to the international network of schools known as Round Square. The students researched the campaign before their visit and participated in a ceremony at the Lone Pine Memorial, where they lay their commemorative crosses.
Photos: Grant Harris, recently retired Deputy Headmaster of The Armidale School.
On that dark and gloomy April night,
Away from our beloved hometown,
We loaded our guns – ready to fight,
Frozen with fear as we squatted down,
In the feared filled trench,
The blood of soldiers lost in the war,
Down low you could smell the stench,
Dead soldiers seek the white door.
Far back they sealed the fates of us all,
With each doomsday shell,
The ones were lucky that didn't fall,
No man could escape such hell.
The Young Aussie Diggers
The young Aussie boy
No more than seventeen
Split up into groups of six
Of blokes he'd never seen
One said "How's it going mate
You seem a bit too young!
You don't look that much older
Than a man of 21!"
He then said, "Pleased to meet you, I'm Martsson
But you can call me 'Mart'
Just as they had started talking
The boat was to depart
Balmain Public School, Aged 11
The Unsung Hero
Mary-Anne Taylor, her mother and her brother and sisters were standing in the hot sun watching the parade go past. It was the spring of 1914 and war had broken out three months ago. Her father came to Australia to work in the goldfields but unfortunately made no money to go home. After years' worth of savings, he finally got enough money to take a trip to England. When the war started Mary-Anne's father was in England visiting his sick mother, so he joined up to fight for the British Empire. He was fighting on the Western Front against the Germans.
Belconnen High School
A sea of brown flows limitless –
Dry grass clumps and rutted earth.
The Germans stand in coalesce
Prepared to fight for all they're worth.
Much horror soon is yet to come,
Inferno's close, its breath grows raucous.
Silence – not a murmured hum,
The pending soldiers, greatly cautious.
The lines of men that stand prepared,
Are shielded by their masks of heft.
Their frail bodies – under – cared,
Are all the hope that they have left.
St. Joseph's Regional High School
Ryan wrote and delivered this address for his school's Remembrance Day speech evening.
Year 6 students
Trinity College, Albury-Wodonga
On behalf of Year 6 students at Trinity College, we would like to thank you for touring us and showing us around the War Memorial. We really enjoyed the statues, the movie and the stuffed horse, all these things had stories about war heroes.
We remember when we saw all the huge aircraft and we saw the light show, the gift shop was full of interesting things.
We had great fun doing all the activities and looking at all the old features and we could touch so many different things such as hard tack and all different relics.
Vicke, Ava, and Danielle, Year 6 students
Hughes, ACT - Aged 10
Fiona sent in this card for Anzac Day 2014.
Years 5/6 students
Hale School, Wembley Downs, WA
Middle School students from Hale researched an Old Haleian who was lost in a theatre of war and whose name appears on the Memorial's Roll of Honour. These posters summarise their findings.
The Unseen Murderer
The sky cries, all day it has cried
The cold sodden hearts and muddy earth are untouched
For not one but many have just died
And no goal has been reached.
Their precious lives lost, a generation wasted
Carried away by the wind and mustard gas
Erased from the earth by shells and false hatred
Their world razed while they watch in a trench pass.
Eating, sleeping and walking in their graves
Their Generals commanding kilometres away
Fighting against reason and living worse than slaves
Families praying the telegram never reaches their doorways.
The sky shrieks for the tortured men and cries
For one stone pillar cannot replace the millions of stolen lives.
Young Public School
Our Brave Young Men
Our brave young men went off to war
The Australian New Zealand Army Corps
Young and scared they stood their ground
Bullets and bombs flying all around
In Flanders field the soldiers bled
staining the ground an awful red
After the battle the poppies grew
In honour of our Anzac crew
On Anzac day we gather a crowd
remembering heroes our nation proud
They sacrificed and lives were lost
Their loved ones paid a heavy cost
Our brave young Diggers answered the call
Risking their lives for us all
Our brave young men went off to war
The Australian New Zealand Army Corps.
Briarna has drawn this charcoal sketch of an Anzac soldier in Flanders Field.
The Australian War Memorial does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within these examples of students' work, which remain the intellectual property of their respective authors.