Local lens on war

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Anzac Day has been studied in depth by pupils at St Joseph’s School with some quite remarkable results.
Pupils studied Anzac Day for five weeks as part of their main inquiry project, and last Friday the fruits of their labour were on show for all to see at the school hall.
St Joseph’s deputy principal Paul Cartlidge is a former territorial soldier with the New Zealand Army and is “pretty passionate” about Anzac Day.
He was impressed with the displays the children produced which included battlefield models and posters with information on Oamaru veterans, some of whom are related to pupils.
“Their main enquiry project has been researching a person or campaign and producing a static image on conflict,” he said.
“It’s an ongoing process. We learn about Anzac Day every year. They have a much better understanding of their relatives and the war.
“They’ve gone back to their parents and told them about it, so it’s been a great outcome.”One of the 50 displays was a model of the Gallipoli landings, made by 12-year-old Joe Spillane.
His model of soldiers landing at Anzac Cove while under enemy fire took about two-and-a-half weeks to make.
“It can represent Anzac more clearly than a piece of paper,” Joe said.
“It gives people a visual thing. It can be quite boring just reading off a piece of paper.”Joe said the main thing he learned while creating the model was the number of New Zealand casualties at Gallipoli, a campaign which resulted in 2779 men being killed and 5212 wounded.
Another display, created by Ruby Macaulay, featured a pair of binoculars owned by her great-grandfather, George Macaulay, who served in France from early 1916.
“He was a private and his sergeant was stuck in no-man’s-land; he had been shot. “My great-grandfather crawled out to rescue him and he got shot at twice. One hit his hip and the other hit the binoculars. Sadly, the sergeant died but just before he died, he gave my great-grandfather the binoculars.”Mr Cartlidge said pupils not originally from Oamaru selected a local veteran to research.
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