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School's ANZAC video brings people together across the world

by Emma Waters last modified 13 May, 2020 08:22 AM

Sutton Veny’s ANZAC* Anniversary Service 2020 was decidedly different this year, but went ahead 'virtually', building community across the globe, with the help of great teamwork and a creative use of technology by both church and school.

This annual commemoration is especially close to the heart of the school and church in Sutton Veny because, during WWII, Australian soldiers were billeted in the village to train alongside New Zealand troops on Salisbury Plain. In 1918 there was a serious outbreak of ‘Spanish Flu’ in the village and camps. Sutton Veny House served as a Convalescent Home during the war and many soldiers and nurses sadly died. One hundred and seventy three are buried in the churchyard at St. John’s the Evangelist.

Usually, a service is held in the churchyard or in the church itself. Australian and New Zealand army personnel attend and each child from the school places a posy on a war grave. This year, however, the village’s church ANZAC service was held virtually and the school’s specially created video was shown during the event.

Sallie Boyd, the school’s collective worship lead shared that the school’s participation in the ANZAC day ceremony continues to build the relationship between Sutton Veny and the Australian and New Zealand forces. The school’s website describes how this has resulted in strong links and that visitors and relatives of those who died, frequently contact the school, or visit, to share their memories.

Sallie said, ‘We work closely with the church and have been able to carry this on at this time, even having a social distancing cup of tea with our vicar, Trudy. The Church have let us know they are praying for us and it is so reassuring that we are in each other's thoughts.

We remain open as a school, teaching keyworker and vulnerable children; it's been a really special time with them and we wanted to provide our families with the chance to honour and reflect at home, as we would usually do in person.’

The video can be watched on YouTube here, or is on the school’s ANZAC webpage which includes a recipe for traditional ANZAC biscuits here.

 

* ANZAC = traditionally a soldier in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps between 1914–18 and more informally: a person from Australia or New Zealand, especially a member of the armed services.

ANZAC day (April 25th) commemorates the landings, which took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula on this date in 1915. Since those times, the 25th of April has been set aside as a National Holiday, when Australians and New Zealanders remember those men and women, of all three services, who have fallen in all wars.

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