Class room moves to the western front

NINETEEN Year 11 and 12 McAauley Catholic College students will embark on the journey of a lifetime on April 10.

They will be making their way through Germany and France on a 20-day tour the World War I Western Front.

The tour is aimed to help the students gain a greater and deeper understanding of two components of their Higher School Certificate Modern History studies.

College modern history teacher Matthew Lobsey is the organiser of the trip and is happily counting down the days until take off, along with the excited bunch of students he is accompanying.

“Two years ago we did a similar tour that involved a pilgrimage to the Western Front and remained primarily in France,” Mr Lobsey said.

“This year the tour is extending a fair way along the Western Front and into Germany.

“The itinerary is designed around the HSC course as we visit many significant battlefields such as Verdun and the Somme which gives the kids a different outlook on the nature of the battles and the stalemate.”

While facts and figures memorised from a text book will accompany these students, Mr Lobsey has incorporated a more personal approach to their studies.

“Students have been encouraged to research their family heritage and investigate any ties that their family has to World War I,” Mr Lobsey said.

Three students that found this connection are Jarred Duck, Richard Arnott and Riley Spratt.

Each of these dedicated students found that they each had an uncle that had fought and died in the Great War.

One element of this research was to find where their relative or researched solider was buried almost a centaury ago and then visit these sites while touring the Western Front.

Other inclusions in the research were to find out date and place of birth, date of death, where the solider fought, if they received any decoration and the rank of the solider.

“It was really interesting during the research,” Riley said.

“I spoke to a lot of family members about his involvement and found him in the internet archives.”

Studies aside, all of the students are counting down the days until their departure date.

“We have only got 11 days to go and we are all really pumped,” Richard said.

“We got our tour t-shirts and jerseys the other day so it has sunk in that we leave in less than two weeks.”

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