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The Sadlier Stokes Prize 2024

Students from the Jacques Prévert Middle School during their visit to the Australian National Memorial.
Students from the Jacques Prévert Middle School during their visit to the Australian National Memorial.

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Posted on 16 April 2024

The 36th edition of the Sadlier Stokes Prize was held this year. Each year, the prize, named in honour of Lieutenant Clifford Sadlier and Sergeant Charlie Stokes, who distinguished themselves in France on 25 April 1918 during the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux (Somme) is awarded to three projects submitted by French schools on the subject of Australia and the First World War. Here are this year’s winners!

The Battle of Villers-Bretonneux by the Paul Langevin Primary School in Bagnolet.


The project created by students of the Paul Langevin Primary School in Bagnolet, Seine Saint-Denis, was a creative and explanatory television news programme. The students, acting as presenters and journalists, explained how the world was rushed into war, the mobilisation of the various empires, and in particular the role of Australia and the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. The programme ends with a poignant interview with Lieutenant Sadlier, also played by one of the students in which he recounts his experiences in battle and his feats of arms.

 

The school plans to use the prize money to fund field trips to the major sites of remembrance of the First World War in France. They also plan to invest in teaching materials, such as history and geography textbooks for their classrooms.

 


Remembering Diggers in the Somme by the Jacques Prévert Middle School in Nouvion-en-Ponthieu.


The Jacques Prévert Middle School, from Nouvion-en-Ponthieu, in the Somme region, submitted a two-part project, the first of which was an exhibition drawing on information obtained during field trips to the Underground City of Naours, Vignacourt 14-18 Interpretation Centre and the Sir John Monash Centre.  The exhibition included the biographies of ten soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force and was a well-presented display of the many stories and facets of the experience of the Australian soldiers during the First World War.

Students from the Jacques Prévert Middle School installing the exhibition in their school.
Students from the Jacques Prévert Middle School installing the exhibition in their school.

The second project was a video explaining the journeys taken by several of the Australian soldiers. The video included letters, maps and diaries written and read out by the students in English and illustrated by staged scenes and archive images. This project, which perfectly integrates the knowledge the students gained during their visits to the Australian Remembrance Trail sites, brought to life the views of these men as they faced up to the difficulties at the front, but also behind the front.

 

 

The school plans to use the prize money for a school trip to learn more about Australian history on the Western Front. It intends to donate remaining funds to an association that maintains military graves.

 


The Shadow Soldiers by the Institution du Saint Esprit High School in Beauvais.


The Institution du Saint Esprit High School in Beauvais, in the Oise region, produced a thought-provoking and compassionate play where only the students’ shadows could be seen, much like a shadow play. For this performance, the students wrote letters from Australian soldiers which they then read out, illustrating them with scenes brought to life by the actors’ shadows ranging from soldiers joining up in Australia to them writing letters back home from the front lines. The students painted a comprehensive picture of the feelings of the soldiers and their families, and of the pain of their separation.

 

 

The school plans to use the prize money for a school trip to Paris and a field trip to northern France to reward the students who worked hard on the project.


 

The Sadlier Stokes Prize was first created in 1989 and is managed by the Australian Embassy in France and the Sir John Monash Centre. If you would like to find out more, check out our page dedicated to the Sadlier Stokes Prize here.

 

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