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Catholic students remember Anzacs in Gallipoli

Catholic students in Gallipoli

Following the Anzacs: Sixteen Queensland Catholic school students standing in Anzac Square, Brisbane, ahead of their emotional trip to Gallipoli for the centenary commemorations on Anzac Day.

PRIVATE Thomas Frederick Murray, a bomb thrower for the 1st Battalion in Gallipoli, died in the trenches only three days into the Battle of Lone Pine.

One hundred years later, Marist College Ashgrove student Nicholas Murray, Private Murray’s great-great nephew, paid a special visit to his brave relative’s grave.

Nicholas is one of 70 Queensland students, 16 from Catholic schools, awarded the Premier’s Anzac Prize to attend the Dawn Service in Gallipoli commemorating 100 years the Anzacs landed.

The students, mostly aged 16 and 17, the age of many of the Australian military, were to leave for Gallipoli on April 22 and landed in Gallipoli on April 25, exactly 100 years after the first Anzacs arrived.

It was a “surreal” moment for Shalom College, Bundaberg, student Theo Delaney, whose great-grandfather and his brother fought on the Western Front in Belgium and France.

“We’re kind of a modern generation (of the Anzacs), because we’re going over to Gallipoli like they did and we’re going to be there at the same time they arrived,” Theo said.

“It’s pretty surreal that we’re going to be in their position.”

Theo’s family had an emotional experience after finding letters written by his great-grandfather, detaling a meeting with soldiers who had witnessed his brother’s death and burial in Messines, Belgium.

Loreto College, Coorparoo, student Alex White said it was “an honour” to go to Gallipoli to commemorate the men and women who fought in the war, including her two great-uncles. Percy and Norman Mitchell, who died in action in France.

Alex’s family has access to Norman Mitchell’s diary from the war, containing “his struggles and triumphs”.

“My grandmother enjoyed being able to open up those memories that she had forgotten about,” Alex said.

“It’s been a special experience for all of us.”

The students are: Jacob Cookson, St Brendanís College, Yeppoon; Brianna Ushay, St Columbanís College, Caboolture; Zack Lindenberg, St Patrickís College, Gympie; Catherine Zapulla, St Andrewís Catholic College Redlynch Valley; Theodore Delaney, Shalom College, Bundaberg; Nicole Scotti, St Andrewís Catholic College Redlynch Valley; Connor Harvey, St Andrewís Catholic College Redlynch Valley; Alex White, Loreto College, Coorparoo; Nicholas Murray, Marist College Ashgrove; Taylor Whitewood, Loretto College, Coorparoo; Sofia Madsen, St Ritaís College, Clayfield; Aoife Colvill, St Monicaís College, Cairns; Majella Pearl, St Maryís College, Ipswich; Bridget Andresen, St Monicaís College, Cairns; Renee Drury, Clairvaux Mackillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt.  Absent in photo: Darcy Reynolds, Marymount College, Burleigh Waters.

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