Ode reading highlight for Caitlin

FAULTLESS: McCauley Catholic College student Caitlin Nash reads the Ode of Remembrance at Menin Gate.
FAULTLESS: McCauley Catholic College student Caitlin Nash reads the Ode of Remembrance at Menin Gate.

GRAFTON schoolgirl Caitlin Nash will be forever grateful to Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr for going missing in action at Menin Gate.

Ms Nash, a Year 11 student at McAuley Catholic College, was among a group of students touring the Western Front battlefields last month when they attended the Last Post ceremony in the Belgian town of Ypres.

Senator Carr had been scheduled to read The Ode of Remembrance, but failed to show up. Instead, the Belgian MC turned to Ms Nash, whom he knew through Rotary connections, and asked her to read the poem in Mr Carr's place.

"It was an amazing opportunity. I stood on the road under the Menin Gate and read the Ode to about 1000 people," she said.

"There was complete silence. They played the Last Post and I spoke. There was no microphone or anything. Then there was a minute's silence, then they played Reveille."

A teacher accompanying the students, Matt Lobsey, said Ms Nash read the piece faultlessly.

"I was so proud of her, she handled the whole thing so well," he said.

It was not until she sat down that Ms Nash realised what she'd done.

"It all happened in a few seconds, so there were no nerves," she said. "It was only after I finished that I realised what I'd done and how many people I'd just spoken in front of."

Ms Nash also spoke at the Anzac Day ceremony at Villers Bretonneux two days later. "Mr Carr spoke to some McAuley students there, but I didn't get the chance to ask him what happened," she said.

"Not that I'm sorry, but I'll always be grateful for the opportunity." Ms Nash said the Menin Gate was a moving place.

"To see so many names and realise all those families have no grave site to visit is special. This place is all they have to remember them," she said.

Menin Gate contains 54,896 names of soldiers who died in battle around Ypres in the First World War. When a body is identified, his name is removed from the monument.

Topics:  first world war mcauley catholic college western front

Dreamworld: This tragedy won't stop us going back

"Dreamworld still has my support 10000% percent."

Appeal for information over assault on woman

Police are appealing for information in relation to an assault on a woman in Woolgoolga in February.

Police release description of man wanted over assault

WHILE many travel long distances to come to the Clarence Val

A cuddle for mum as Lilly Tasker hugs her mum Miriam Tasker with partner Campbell Lynne in the background. Miriam received a donor kidney, and Campbell gave one as part of a donor program, and the family, who form the band Country Heritage are playing at the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster.

Miriam's long journey back to country music

Local Partners

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

Unique riverfront home sells for almost $1M

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June