Bound for the battlefield

Bound for the battlefield

Karwin Murray and Lauren Barrie. Photograph - Richard Polden.

Two young women from Brookdale and Byford have been selected along with six others to travel to Belgium and France later this year for a trip like no other.

Karwin Murray and Lauren Barrie, both 22, were among hundreds of people who applied for a 10-day state-funded tour of the former battlegrounds of the First World War, which would see them attend the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

Miss Murray’s application was inspired by a bible that her family had, that was given to a sister while her brother was off fighting in war.

Miss Barrie submitted an essay about how the tour would apply to the Australian school curriculum and how she could use her knowledge from the tour in her classroom once back in Byford.

Both women said they had never travelled to Europe before but were excited for the hands-on, once-in-a-lifetime experience that awaits them come November.

Miss Barrie said the tour was a great opportunity for her to develop her knowledge about the implications of the First World War and of the Armistice, which she could later teach to her students as a high school history teacher.

“When I speak to some of the students that I have at Byford Secondary College a lot of them have grandparents who have either fought or died or returned back from the places that we are going to,” she said.

“It is one thing to tell the kids about these places but it’s another thing to be able to say I’ve been there, these are some of the experiences I have had and look at the great pictures I have got.”

Minister for Veterans Issues Peter Tinley said the group selected for the tour had a combined enthusiasm for military history, a passion for discovering and re-tracing family connections and strong leadership and teaching skills.

“I look forward to these young people sharing the wealth of knowledge and insights that this experience is bound to generate on their return home to their respective communities in Western Australia,” he said.

The tour begins in Paris on November 3.