The one hundredth anniversary of ANZAC troops landing at Gallipoli has given our students a lot to consider.
Young men from all over New Zealand served in that operation on the Turkish Coast.
In total, 116 former Thames High School students served during World War One; 27 of them didn’t return.
To commemorate those fallen soldiers, 27 white crosses have been placed in the ground outside the school’s main office.
It is a visual reminder to all of us that every community across the country was affected by what became known as ‘The Great War.’
One of our students was particularly involved in local ANZAC commemorations.
James Hamilton played The Last Post on his cornet at the Tapu dawn service, and spoke at the Thames memorial service.
In his speech, James talked about his great-grandfather who served in France during WW1, and of two of his great uncles who were killed at Gallipoli.
Here’s part of his speech. “It’s hard for me to get my head around what it must have been like for boys my age to leave their school and family to travel thousands of miles to fight in a war. At 16 years old, I have so many dreams and ambitions. I have my whole life ahead of me. My great-grandfather, my grandfather, my great uncles, these old boys of Thames High School and all of the ANZACS fought for our freedom. Freedom to express our own opinion, live the lives we want to live. I am forever indebted for the sacrifice made by those who served for our freedom.”
James is a member of the Air Training Corp and wants to be a pilot when he finishes school.