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Students remember the fallen

HONOUR: Tweed River High School's Rachel  Hudson   with fellow students  laying the wreath at the Polygon Wood dawn service as part of the Premier's Anzac Memorial   tour.
HONOUR: Tweed River High School's Rachel Hudson with fellow students laying the wreath at the Polygon Wood dawn service as part of the Premier's Anzac Memorial tour. Contributed

A TWEED River High School student has journeyed halfway across the world to learn more about those who risked their lives during World War I ahead of Remembrance Day.

Fifteen-year-old Rachel Hudson was one of 22 students chosen to travel to Europe for the annual Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship tour.

Rachel said the group visited cemeteries and memorials across Belgium, France and England to remember the fallen and honour their memory.

"We were seeing three or four cemeteries a day... it was two or three massive cemeteries with thousands upon thousands of people in the ground and the amount of stones that said 'known unto God',” Rachel said.

"That was a little bit hard to take in at first but I suppose it was better to be having a little bit of a think about (what had happened) instead of being entirely numb to what was going on.

"You felt as if you weren't remembering them, you didn't feel something about the sacrifices.”

During the tour, Rachel was given the honour of laying a wreath with two other students at the Buttes New British Cemetery in Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary since the Battle of Polygon Wood.

More than 5700 Australian lives were lost in that particular battle.

Rachel said the service was a chance for the students to reflect on the Battle of Polygon Wood.

"There were all these pictures of the soldiers and all these people acting like soldiers with fake camps on the side,” she said.

The students also collected soil samples from places Australian soldiers had served during World War I to give to the Australian War Memorial.

Topics:  polygon wood remembrance day tweed river high school



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