Investigating the Australia in World War 1 Commemorative Box

Students of the Voyageurs Club at Les Coudriers in Villers-Bocage recently investigated the contents of the travelling Australia in WW1 Commemorative box. They first observed the objects then read descriptive sheets, explaining to their fellow students what each was used for. They are now working on the Australian families of which they found descriptions on the site of “Anzac Centenary”. They successfully made links between the members of these families and the objects of the trunk and in doing so learned so much more about the Australian experience of war.

Cette valise est domiciliée au Musée Alfred-Danicourt de Péronne (à l’hôtel de ville) et vous pouvez la réserver en envoyant un courriel à l’adresse suivante

Port Fairy Students Receive Special Awards for Researching Local Heroes

Ben Wakely, Sam Allen, William, Humbolt, Grace Pollock and Antoinette Tamer were awarded special certificates of recognition for researching local soldiers who died during World War 1. Tim Gurry OAM presented the certificates to the students and their passionate teacher Mrs Grady at a special event where the students shared their research with their Year 4 classmates. Mr Gurry said that he was amazed at the knowledge and enthusiasm displayed by the Year 4 class. ‘You have shown that you understand the impact of World War 1 upon families and communities in Australia and on the battlefields of Europe. Your work is fantastic and you should be very proud’.

Sir John Monash Centre

Bookings are now open for the Sir John Monash Centre which is due to open at the Australian National Memorial, near Villers-Bretonneux in France, in April 2018.

The Centre is a state-of-the-art facility designed to give visitors an understanding of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front battlefields during the First World War.

It joins six other interpretive centres along the Western Front and tells the uniquely Australian perspective of the Great War.

The emotional experience begins from the moment visitors arrive at the site, locating them within the original geometry envisaged by architect Edward Lutyens when he planned the Australian National Memorial in 1938.

The Centre, designed by Cox Architecture, engages visitors through a series of galleries that emphasise high-tech multimedia, as well as traditional objects.

Project director Ian Fletcher said the Centre would share the experiences of more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front and the 46,000 who never returned home.

“It is important that we tell this story. Our country’s greatest achievements and losses in the First World War were on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918,” Mr Fletcher said.

“As such, the Australian Government is delivering a centre that will resonate with Australians and communicate with a broader, global audience.

“It will be a very moving experience, respecting the solemn and reflective tone of the monument, while deepening the interpretive experience.”

Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre is free and bookings can be made via the Centre’s website.

Bookings are encouraged for peak periods around Anzac Day, the Centenary of the Battle of Le Hamel, and Remembrance Day.

Thank you for the video ‘Walking in the Footsteps of the Condah Anzacs’!

Caroline CAULIER writes from Lycée Giraux Sannier:

As the students and I are currently working on your amazing and so fulfilling as well as moving documentary film, I wanted to say HELLO and THANK YOU!  Let me tell you again how much your program has brought to the students and myself; For example the exchange with St Michael’s, Henley Beach Adelaide, is just beyond words: we work together permanently thanks to a Face Book page (Adelaide Boulogne WWI) and meet up in France every two years. We also exchange our students’ works and researches, and organize Night at the Museum or indoors exhibitions of them; we exchange with Australian veterans associations thanks to Jane. And this afternoon we went to Wimereux’s Cemetery (the one hosting John McCrae’s grave) to visit the graves of ANZACs where some students ‘adopted’ Australian graves.

So all in all THANK YOU!!!

College du Houtland honours Australian fallen at Adelaide Cemetery

Recently the students of College Houtland researched 20 Australian soldiers who died on the Western Front and are buried in Adelaide cemetery. The students made special commemorative plaques summarising the background and service of each man and placed these solemnly on the respective graves.

This is yet another example of the wonderful and heartfelt recognition paid by young French and Belgian students to our Aussies diggers during the centenary years.


La Chapelette Primary School, Péronne honours some of the fallen of the British Empire


The students of La Chapelette Primary School in Péronne took part in a special ceremony in the nearby British and Indian cemetery on September 10, 2017, commemorating the sacrifice of Indian soldiers during the First World War. The students found the ceremony very moving! They placed flowers on each grave and thanked these men of the British Empire for their service and sacrifice. Here are some lovely photos taken by the students and a description in French of this special commemorative day.

cérémonie 10 sept reportage

Students from Les Coudriers, Villers-Bocage unlock the secrets of the Naours Caves

As the students explained when we visited their school in July this year:

The archeologist Gilles Prilaux found graffitis of Australian soldiers dating from WWI on the walls of the Underground City of Naours, ten kilometers away from our collège. He invited us in September 2015 to participate in his project of research which was planned to last for three years. With him, we visited the caves, took photos of the graffitis and he taught us how to lead an archeologist search. After that, we looked for information on the soldiers on the Internet. We were lucky to attend the Anzac Day Ceremony in 2016 and were proud to be granted the Sadlier Stokes Prize by the Australian Amabassador. We are now looking forward to working with our Australian friends in order to find out more information on our soldiers and on their descendants.

View all their great work at:

The dedicate team of Les Coudriers archeologists/historians



Ecole Notre Dame Primary School Students to write the story of Australian Soldiers

In July the students of Ecole Notre Dame visited a small local cemetary where 15 Australian soldiers are buried. The students placed specially inscribed crosses at the graveside of each soldier.

The students, with the help of their passionate and dedicated teachers, now plan to write a book about these soldiers which will be illustrated by some of the parents. They hope to publish this unique book and make it available to schools, museums and visitors to the region.

What a great and enduring local community centenary initiative!

École la Chapelette Partners St Patrick’s Primary School Port Fairy

We recently visited École la Chapelette in Peronne which is partnered with St Patrick’s Primary in the little coastal village of Port Fairy in south-west Victoria. 

The Port Fairy students have thrown themselves into the project, writing letters and inscribing small wooden crosses with special commemorative messages. They hope the students at la Chapelette will also write a special message and then place their crosses on a soldier’s grave and ask the question – who are you? They will then promise to research this soldier and share their findings with their partner school. 

The Port Fairy students can’t wait to hear from their partners in France who are currently on summer holidays.



There is now a new section on the website – OUR MUSEUM

As you and your students explore your own community to find evidence of the impact of World War 1 you will find many things – old photos, medals, letters, statues, diaries and more. We want to set up our own online museum, created by you, the students participating in the Anzac Centenary School Link Program. This will be our gift to the nations of France, Belgium and Australia – a museum created by the youth of these three great countries as our lasting commemoration of World War I.

I have already uploaded a number of images of unique objects that I have in my personal collection and I look forward to seeing your contributions. Have a go, the instructions are there and it is not hard. And when you caption your object make sure you tell us whom it is from.

Tim Gurry OAM