Three southern secondary school pupils will travel to
France next month, where they will attend World War 1
commemorations as New Zealand's young ambassadors.
Ailish Wallace-Buckland, of Columba College, Harriet Keown,
of St Hilda's Collegiate School, and Emma Kane, of Central
Southland College, are among 11 pupils from across the
country who have family links to the Great War and will
explore war sites between July 11 and 26.
They will visit the sites where New Zealand soldiers made
a significant contribution to the war, including the Somme
battlefields, Longueval and the New Zealand memorial, the
Caterpillar-Valley cemetery, Le Quesnoy, and Arras, where they
will stay with French host families.
Some pupils will have the chance of visiting the memorial of
an ancestor who fell in France.
The young ambassadors have been invited to attend a function
in their honour at the French Ministry of Education in Paris,
and on Bastille Day they will watch the military parade on
the Champs Elysees and the tribute ceremony at the Arc de
The commemorations provide an opportunity for the New
Zealand pupils to explore a major part of their shared history
with their French counterparts.
The Young Ambassadors programme is part of a school exchange
programme called Shared Histories, which is run by the French
embassy in New Zealand and the New Zealand Association of