Students from Holy Spirit College in Bellambi, New South Wales, Australia travelled to Turkey from 29th June to 9th July 2015. For their visit to Gallipoli each student ‘adopted’ an Australian soldier, visiting the places where he fought and reading a eulogy by his grave or memorial. We have the text of the eulogy for Corporal Charles Hodsdon, written by Summer Reh and read at his grave in Istanbul. Olivia Cleal read out her own eulogy for Trooper Herbert Edward Stanley at the Nek Cemetery, Gallipoli. Both students talk about their experience in the videos below.
For their teacher Adam Fryday the trip was on his bucket-list and he describes his feelings here. As he says, I love teaching about the Gallipoli campaign to students for a number of reasons, but the top reason is that it is a self-contained narrative. Gallipoli has a definite beginning (the landing), middle (the August Offensive), and end (the evacuation). When so much of the First World War is chaos, students can find a sense of chronology and familiarity in the Gallipoli story. History is easier when we can place it into a narrative, and Gallipoli comes complete with protagonists, antagonists, the noble enemy and bumbling command.
Here Summer Reh describes how she decided to write her eulogy in the form of a letter to the soldier
In our second video Olivia Cleal tells us how emotional it was to stand at ‘her’ soldier’s grave amongst all the thousands of others on the Peninsula