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Meadowbank Public School students Claire Hudson, Isabelle Vagiotas and Ella Hudson-McEwan with Ryde RSL Sub Branch President Bernie Cox and the school community to commemorate the Centenary of Gallipoli in World War One. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.

Meadowbank Public School pupils are preparing their swags and sleeping bags to participate in the nation’s largest sleepover, Camp Gallipoli, to commemorate the nation’s fallen diggers in Sydney on April 24.

Year 6 student Matthew Dobrincic, 11, is excited to attend the Camp Gallipoli event to show support for the young soldiers that bravely fought for their country in World War 1.

“I am excited to attend this year to learn more about Anzac Day and Gallipoli,” Matthew said.

“I want to learn about how the Anzacs must have felt by sleeping with no shelter and I look forward to experiencing the dawn service on a larger scale.”

Being raised by family members who have served in the military has made Meadowbank Public School teacher Lynne Gittoes appreciate the importance of remembering our fallen soldiers, which is a lesson she imparts on all of her students.

“It is vital for us to continue to commemorate those who fought in all wars,” Lynne said.

“I have a strong interest in WW1 and history in general and I feel that Camp Gallipoli is an excellent way to commemorate the Anzacs.

“I have previously attended the Dawn Service at Villers Bretonneaux in France and have spent a few weeks touring the battlefields. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

“Our students have always been very enthusiastic about all Anzac Day events so I am really looking forward to attending Camp Gallipoli with some students from our school. Hopefully it will be an unforgettable experience for all who attend.”

This year’s attendees will set up for the night at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter to join in a night of special remembrance, entertainment and mateship commemorating the Anzac Spirit, while the event is held simultaneously across the country in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The education-based not-for-profit project started last year by Adelaide’s Chris Fox.

With a personal connection to WW1, Mr Fox developed Camp Gallipoli to commemorate Anzac Day, while paying tribute to other WW1 battles significant to Australia’s and New Zealand’s history.

“This event has become a significant part of the Anzac Day commemorations and is all about making the day accessible to Australians, no matter where they are from.

“The interest Camp Gallipoli draws from so many schools, families and work places is truly humbling, and it shows people are continually interested in paying their respects to those who fought and the many who lost their lives in WW1.

Camp Gallipoli begins at 5pm this Sunday April 24 with entertainment performed by Australian

artists including Cyrus (Sydney), interwoven by performances by local school bands and choirs plus historical stories told to enlighten the crowd on the significance of Anzac Day.

Mr Fox encouraged those interested in attending Camp Gallipoli on Anzac Day to sign up immediately for the event which is a well suited commemorative avenue for schools, sporting teams, families and workplaces.

“It’s a particularly great opportunity for schools to get involved and include the experience in their WW1 studies, while providing an opportunity to come together and share stories,” he said.

“So many of us have ancestors who made the sacrifice of fighting in WW1, with many not coming home. It is so important that we continue to remember these efforts which have contributed so much to the strength of our country today.”

Individual and school group tickets are available, starting from $54.95 per student for annual memberships to The Gallipoli Club.

This year for every school student who attends a Gallipoli Club event, a gold coin will be donated towards building a Franco-Australian PoziĀres School, to recognise Australia’s allegiance with France in WW1.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.campgallipoli.com.au