Hume schoolchildren remember the WWI recapture of French village by Australian soldiers:

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Kiel Egging, Hume Leader
April 24, 2017 4:00pm

William, centre, singing the National Anthem with Broadmeadows state Labor MP Frank McGuire and brother Eddie in background at the Side By Side service at Maygar Barracks in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

William, centre, singing the National Anthem with Broadmeadows state Labor MP Frank McGuire and brother Eddie in background at the Side By Side service at Maygar Barracks in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

HUME schoolchildren have paid their respects at a training ground for the nation’s World War I soldiers in the lead up to Anzac Day.

Around 300 schoolchildren attended Broadmeadows Labor MP Frank McGuire’s annual Side By Side service at the Maygar Barracks on Thursday.
The service has been previously held at local primary schools but was held at the barracks for the first time this year.

The heritage site is where diggers, light horsemen and Victoria Cross winners were trained and dispatched to fight during World War I.
This year’s service focused on the significance of the battle at the French town of Villers-Bretonneux, which was captured by the Imperial German Army on April 24, 1918.

A view of the Australian National Memorial site, near the town of Villers-Bretonneux in Northern France. Picture: David Dyson

But the town was recaptured by two brigades of the First Australian Imperial Force later that night and the following day, with around 1200 Australian soldiers dying in the battle.

Mr McGuire’s brother, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell and representatives from the French Government, the local Turkish community, army and Glenroy RSL members all attended the event.

Wreathes were laid and schoolchildren displayed posters they had designed showcasing their interpretation of the battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

The posters will now be sent to schoolchildren in Villers-Bretonneux to commemorate mateship in the lead-up to next year’s centenary of the battle.

Frank McGuire said the service was “bigger than anything we have done in the past” and gave children a greater understanding of the battle and the soldiers’ values.
“They can see where they (soliders) were trained, but better than that, they got to understand that war is horrendous, but there can still be humanity, and that’s what Gallipoli showed us.”

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