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Veterans teach young lessons of past

BREATHING new life and understanding into the past, and teaching students what they can’t get out of a book, Hilltop Road Public students have joined forces with Merrylands RSL Sub-branch to research local war heroes and help catalogue memorabilia spanning the two world wars and more recent conflicts.

Sub-branch President Rob Grimley says it was an honour to work with the school and link up students with veterans for interviews relayed through the students’ audio, video, written and artistic expressions for the exhibition ‘Valuing Our History’ debuting at the club last Thursday and on offer to enjoy until after Remembrance Day on November 11.
“The children learnt a lot and not just about military history,” he said.
Organising teacher Tamara Turrini said that by interviewing the veterans, it allowed students to put a face to history and to have insight into those brave individuals who stood up for our country and kept it safe.
“We made some interesting discoveries when we were researching the family trees of our soldiers. For example, we interviewed World War 2 veteran Lionel Luckwill Mance, whose father Lionel Charles Mance was a highly decorated soldier in World War 1 and for whom Charles Mance Reserve is named in Merrylands.
“What we discovered was that Lionel’s grandfather fought in the Boer War too and the family had no idea.”
“There’s so many amazing items in this exhibition; everyone will enjoy it.
“It has been a truly educational project for our Year 6 students and we are keen to follow it up again next year.”