A SHORT film commemorating events that took place in a small town in northern France 100 years ago is helping forge new friendships between two schools on opposite sides of the world.
The film “Do Not Forget Australia, the duty of remembrance in Villers-Bretonneux” inspired Year 3 students at St Luke’s School, Capalaba, to put pen to paper and write to students at L’Ecole Victoria (Victoria School) who made the film.
On April 24-25, 1918, Villers-Bretonneux village was the scene of the world’s first tank battle between British and German troops.
The Germans won and occupied the township only to then face two Australian brigades in a counter attack.
By the end of the battle, there were 2400 Australian casualties with the decisive battle marking the end of the German advance in the Somme.
In the centenary year of the battle the students’ short film won the Sadlier-Stokes award and featured at the official opening of the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre, a museum that commemorates Australian servicemen and women who served on the Western Front during the First World War.
In 2017, St Luke’s teacher Sharyn Leafe visited the school in Villers-Bretonneux and established a connection with the teacher there.
“On my visit I left a few gifts from St Luke’s and my email address,” Mrs Leafe said.
She said the French teacher emailed classroom photos to her with his students holding up books, including The Two Pennies.
“They were the same books we were reading here at St Luke’s – only in French,” she said.
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