Yesterday we had a visit from Mrs Coe’s former principal, Mr Willis. Mr Willis shared a power point with photos of his recent trip to the Western Front, the places Australian soldiers fought at after the battle of Gallipoli. Here are some reflections of things we learnt from his visit.
Reflections from Mr Willis’ Visit
I have learnt to respect the soldiers who went to war.
I now know that Australian graves have a curved top, German graves have a flat top and French graves have a cross. This was an easy way to work out which country the soldier was from.
I have learnt that Australian soldiers had to dig trenches by hand – absolutely terrible!
I have learnt that a grave was discovered in Fromelles because a Victorian teacher researched and convinced the Australian Government to investigate. There were actually the remains of many Australian soldiers buried by the Germans.
I now know that they used more advanced weaponry in WW1 than I thought. They used machine guns, planes, heavy artillery and dynamite. I thought they just used rifles.
I now know that the Germans also built trenches to protect their people.
I have discovered that after WW1 lots of countries (especially France) respected each other greatly for brave fighting. France has graves for Australia, themselves, Turks and Germans. Also Australia sometimes had truces with Turkey and Germany. They sometimes even played games together.
I discovered that soldiers digging trenches made zigzag lines so that it was harder for the enemy to shoot them.
I learnt that Australia went to the Western Front. I thought they only went to Gallipoli.
I learnt about the barbed wire protecting the trenches in the front line.
I now know that Respect is the key word to war.
Mr Willis’ visit helped me have a better understanding of all the different sides and sorts of things they did in the war. I also learnt that ANZAC Day should be as respectful as you can make it.
I now understand how terrible and dangerous the war was. None of the books we read could describe it to me.
I didn’t know that there were still trenches around people could visit. I also didn’t know there were so many cemeteries (940) in France and Belgium.
I learnt that the Germans had a machine gun nest and that they were prepared when our soldiers arrived in their territory.
I learnt that the ANZACs crawled under the enemy trenches and blew them up with TNT.
The explosion created a crater 3 metres deep and 100 metres all around.
I learnt that the Australian trenches were so muddy that you could sink in them.
Mr Willis taught us that when the ANZACs dug trenches under enemy trenches they used wood to support them.
I learnt that 60,000 Australian people died in WW1 and over 500 people died in Vietnam.
I have just learnt that 60,000 Australian soldiers died after WW1 (when they came home from war) from diseases and injuries.
I now know that when the Germans were living the trenches, they had messengers who would run up and down the trenches delivering important messages to the back of the trenches. The soldiers who were the messengers only lived for about 4 days.
I have learnt that they used to have trenches that were higher at the back than at the front so that they couldn’t shot others in their own trenches.