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Sadlier Stokes 2023 : The 'Letter' project of the Léon Dautrement middle school


Posted on 30 April 2023

Among the three projects chosen for the 2023 edition of the Sadlier Stokes prize, the Sir John Monash Centre would like to present the project “The letter” proposed by students Eline Galinon, Louane Lafaye, Zoé and Léa D’Hollander of the Léon Dautrement middle school in Meyssac, in the Corrèze.

For the project, they created an illustrated book for primary school children, telling the story of Australia’s involvement in the First World War on the Western Front. The book is divided into two parts: the first is fictional, telling the story of a young Australian boy who discovers the letters of his grandfather, a First World War veteran. As he reads them, he learns about the reality of life at the front. The second part is more educational, compiling research and historical details about the Australian engagement on the Western Front.


Illustrations from the book ''The letter''.

This work was shared with pupils in nearby primary schools, to whom the four schoolgirls told the story of the Australian commitment, led a workshop on how to make paper poppies and gave them a taste of Anzac Biscuits, before handing over a copy of their book.

Two Primary schoolers making paper poppies.
Two Primary schoolers making paper poppies.

The dedication of these students to pass on Australian remembrance to younger generations and the quality and originality of the project won over the members of the jury. The prize of €1,500 was given out by the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on behalf of the Australian Embassy in France, to the Léon Dautrement middle school, its team and students during an awards ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day.

The four pupils from Collège Léon Dautrement and their teacher receiving the Sadlier Stokes prize from the Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite.
The students of the Léon Dautrement middle school, winners of the 2023 edition, receiving their prize from the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite on ANZAC Day.

The school plans to use part of this prize money to purchase educational material for the pupils, especially books on the First World War, and to donate the rest to the Souvenir Français (French Remembrance Association) of Meyssac, which works to preserve the memory of the soldiers who died for France.

The Sadlier Stokes Prize is awarded annually to the best projects submitted by French primary, middle, and high schools, highlighting Australian memory and involvement in the First World War.


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