More than 50 students from Monash Primary School visited the Nation’s Capital this week.

Member for Baker Tony Pasin welcomed the years 6 and 7 students to Canberra.

A small group from the class were given a special tour of the War Memorial organised by Mr Pasin.

Monash was named after General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD, who is widely acknowledged as one of the great Australians. He was Australia’s outstanding military and civilian leader as well as a great contributor to Australian life.

During the First World War he led a brigade at Gallipoli and was noted for his brilliant command of the Australian Army Corps in France which resulted in a number of major victories that are credited with having shortened the course of the War.

“Sir John Monash was one of the principal organisers of the annual observance of ANZAC Day, so it was fitting that students from Monash Primary School were able to visit the Australian Way Memorial,” Mr Pasin said.

In 1993, to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the body of an unknown Australian soldier was recovered from Adelaide Cemetery near Villers-Bretonneaux in France and transported to Australia. After lying in state in King’s Hall in Old Parliament House, the Unknown Australian Soldier was interred in the Hall of Memory on 11 November 1993. He was buried in a Tasmanian blackwood coffin, on which were placed a bayonet and a sprig of wattle. Soil from the Pozières battlefield in France was scattered in his tomb.

The inscription on the tomb reads, “An unknown Australian soldier killed in the war of 1914–1918”. At the head of the tomb is inscribed “Known unto God” and at the foot, “He is all of them and he is one of us.”

Two students from the school group were invited to take part in cleaning of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with Mr Pasin, a privilege not shared by many.

“It was an extremely humbling experience,” said Mr Pasin, “and one that I’m glad that I was able to share with students from Monash Primary”.


CONTACT: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466