The cost of war remembered

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Australian soldiers march through Ypres in late October 1917 towards the end of the Third Battle of Ypres – no year in Australia’s wartime history has been more costly. Picture: anzacportal.dva.gov.au

SCHOOLS in the Pearce electorate will receive books and posters to educate students about Australia’s wartime history and commemorate Anzac Day.

Pearce MHR Christian Porter said schools would receive two books – Decision: Stories of leadership in the services and A Bitter Fate: Australians in Malaya and Singapore, December 1941 – February 1942.

 Mr Porter said schools would also receive posters to commemorate the centenaries of the Flanders Offensive and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign.

More than 76,000 Australians were casualties on the Western Front in 1917 including some 22,000 who lost their lives.

No year in Australia’s wartime history has been more costly.

Mr Porter said it was important every generation understood the costs and impacts of war, both on the battlefield and at home.

“The books explore the stories of individuals who made decisions that saved lives and influenced the outcomes of battles and wars,’’ he said.

“The posters will encourage reflection and discussion of two very different but important events in our history – the Third Battle of Ypres and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.

“As we commemorate the Anzac Centenary 2014–2018, these materials will help our school-aged children develop an appreciation of the service and sacrifice of all those who have served in defence of our nation over the past 100 years, and those who continue to serve today.”

Schools across Australia will receive the education resources by the end of March.

The learning activities are available for free download from the Anzac Portal (http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/).

The posters will also be distributed to libraries, ex-service organisations, aged care facilities, hospitals, councils, and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade overseas missions.

They are supported by an online Wartime Snapshot.