We Dig a Little Deeper In Their Honour

Instead of gathering for the College assembly this morning, all St Edmund’s students trekked to the bottom of Mulkerin Oval. Accompanied by the young ladies from St Mary’s College, the combined student body from both Colleges formed the shape of 100. The students stood in solidarity to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI and paying tribute to the Australians soldiers involved in the Battle of Mont St Quentin which was fought on this day one hundred years ago. It was a battle that occurred only months before the end of the war and one in which the Australian soldiers paid a pivotal role. The Australian Corps crossed the Somme River in Northern France on the night of August 31, 1918; exactly 100 years ago today. General Henry Rawlinson, the commander of the British Fourth Army, described the Australian advances on the German lines as the greatest military achievement of the war. And amongst those Australian soldiers was an Eddies Old Boy. His name was Richard Thomas Walsh.

Born in Ipswich on the August 9, 1895, not much is known about Private Walsh. The research of Year 12 student, Clayton Wesener, shows that he lived on Brisbane Street and attended St Edmund’s College. When WWI broke out, Private Walsh was yet to turn 21, which was the age of conscription at the time. He joined the Australian Army Corp on September 13, 1915, and was attached to the 26th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Australian Division. This unit had already seen conflict in Egypt and Gallipoli. Private Walsh’s unit took part in the breaking of the Hindenburg line, the Battle of Amiens, and the Battle of Mont St Quentin. Private Walsh was active in all three battles. Records from the Red Cross state that he was killed in action by a German round on the October 3, 1918. Transcripts from his friends state he was killed at Billicourt, and he honourably left his post to act as a runner when his comrade was killed. Private Walsh was 23 years old. He died 39 days before the end of the War. This is just one of the many stories of the brave Australians who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. A story that is close to home for St Edmund’s.

The Year 12 motto for our 2018 senior leaders is Dig a Little Deeper, in honour of our ANZACS and their Digger mentality that has stemmed from their heroic battles. Today’s commemoration was driven by our Year 12 Leaders who have raised money throughout Defence Week to donate to Wounded Heroes: an organisation who aid service personnel and their families during times of crisis. Thanks to the Year 12 initiative, many Australian families who have served our armed forces will receive care. Today has been a great show of character by both St Edmund’s and St Mary’s students. They stood in solidarity to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI and those who have served our forces then and until now.

Today we dug a little deeper in their honour.

They can because they see they can.