The Lost Diggers of Fromelles

In 2010 we embarked upon a project that would take us to places we never imagined. Our Year 9 History students began creating video profiles of some of the Aussie diggers who were buried in a mass grave at Pheasant Wood just outside the French town of Fromelles. These soldiers were killed in the Battle of Fromelles on July 19, 1916. The battle was the bloodiest of all fought by Australians with more than 5000 killed or wounded in one day. Due to the sheer volume of casualties many were buried in mass graves around the battlefield. More details can be found on this project on the page ‘SMCC: From Blackboard to iPad’ on this blog.

Recently there has been a new development in this project. Our History guru, Steve Garry has been in contact with a school in France who wish to be involved in future constructions of profiles. They came across our Ning which has become a focal point for many of the Fromelles community.

We have called for volunteers amongst our Year 9 students who only recently finished creating the 2013 profiles of the Lost Diggers. These volunteers will work with the French students to put together more profiles. We are hoping there will be both French and English versions of each! We are also hoping that they will also work on creating French versions of the profiles created thus far.

The project has created interest from the local authorities in France. The school is situated close to Fromelles so there is a great connection with Australia. We are hoping that by 2016 most of the soldiers uncovered at Pheasant Wood will have a lasting tribute to their sacrifice through a video tribute created by our students.

It has been wonderful to see the reactions from our students as they bring back to life young men who had been long forgotten by a nation they gave their lives for. The empathy felt by the students as they retell the stories has been one of the lasting impressions for all involved.

The 2013 profiles will be uploaded over the next few weeks and highlighted on the College Vimeo channel.

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