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Students re-enact on historical day

5/12/2018

This Remembrance Day, 11 November at 11am, Amiens State School stopped to remember.  We remembered that on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month of 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent, bringing to an end World War I.  Although the news of the ceasefire was greeted with relief and joy, there was also a sense of shared grief and loss. Hardly a family was untouched – of the 330,000 men who had served overseas, 62,000 had been killed and more than 150,000 had been wounded or taken prisoner.

This year, our students have been studying the War and its impact on Australia as well as on our name-sake town, Amiens, on the Western Front in France.  However, instead of holding our own school Remembrance Commemoration at the Amiens Memorial beside the school this year, our students joined the Amiens community commemoration at the Amiens Legacy Village.  Our school has for almost three years now partnered with the Amiens History Association, in learning our local history and commemorating historical events together.  We were invited by the Amiens History Association, who hosted the event, to be involved in the ceremony which also marked the opening of Stage 1 of the Amiens Legacy Village.  The Village’s centre-piece at the moment is the restored period train carriage and the display of historical memorabilia set up in it. 

The ceremony commenced at around 9:30am, and the crowd was  already beginning to swell at that hour.  With an expectation of around 250 people in the audience, it was soon clear that that number would be exceeded.  It was conservatively estimated at 500 by the time the ceremony commenced, with some reckoning the number to be closer to 800. 

The Amiens students had been practicing for many weeks with Mrs Pauline Leigh for the re-enactment of the signing of the Armistice, their tribute to remembrance.  Some students performed in period costume for the pageant with others bearing flags of the countries involved in the signing of the Armistice.  The Prep to Year 2 students formed a guard of honour and sang the French National Anthem.

Congratulations to our students for their part in the proceedings.  As usual, by their behaviour and their involvement, they showed our school in the best light.  This view has been shared by the many people who offered their congratulations on the day and since.