Legend of Anzacs lives on in Harry
AFTER spending his childhood reading up on battlefields, Bundaberg teen Harry Packwood is following in the footsteps of the Anzacs he's researched and is heading to the Western Front.
The Shalom College student is one of eight students in the state to be awarded the Premier's Anzac Prize for 2018 and secured himself a trip to attend the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial at Villiers- Bretonneux, France on Anzac Day this year - marking 100 years since the end of World War I.
The 15-year-old history buff submitted a multi-media presentation on what the Anzac legend means in modern Australia that wowed the judges.
Harry said the Anzac spirit lives on in times of hardship, like the bravery and mateship shown in the 2013 flood in Bundaberg.
He said he was very excited when he won and couldn't wait to live out a long-time dream of his.
"I've always wanted to go over to the Western Front and commemorate the Anzacs, it's something that I've always wanted to do from a young age,” he said.
"You can't begin to comprehend what they went through over there and the effects on their family when they find out their son was killed on the other side of the world.
"I can't wait to see London and Paris, but I'm most looking forward to seeing the battlefields that I've been reading about.”
Harry said he is a distant relation of Bundaberg soldier Matthew Hampson.
Private Matthew Frederick Hampson was killed in action on October 11, 1917, on the Western Front.
Fondly know as Fred, the East Bundaberg man was a renowned cyclist in the region before he traded in his two wheels for army greens.
Harry's mother Helen Packwood said respecting the Anzacs, past and present, has always been a big part of their family.
"Commemorating the Anzacs is a big tradition for our family, even when the kids were babies,” she said.
"We've always gone to the Bargara Dawn Service.”
Along with ticking off bucket-list items, Harry will be amid some of the first visitors to the Sir John Monash Museum, which
will open its doors to visitors in time for Anzac Day 2018.
In order to help our present Anzacs, Harry has started a fundraising page in support of the work done by Mates4Mates.
For more information or to donate visit http://bit.ly/2EKtPys.