Home Community Learning from veterans

Learning from veterans

97-year old Allan Godfrey, a WWII veteran, was a guest speaker at Myrniong PS . Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Meg Kennedy

Allan Godfrey was just 17-years old when he fought in World War II, but 80-years later he’s sharing his story with the next generation, his great-grandson.
Myrniong Primary School students were treated to a personal experience with the 97-year-old war veteran, who was wearing both his own medals and those belonging to his father who fought in World War I.
Classroom teacher Lydia Lacey said the idea for Mr Godfrey to be a special guest came as the students were studying the upcoming centenary of Armistice Day.
“The whole purpose of it is to show empathy and respect for the people that fought in the war, and the reasons why they do it…it’s all about making the children now, our next generation, aware of who fought in the war and make them aware of those stories,” said Ms Lacey.
“It’s very good to see the kids learn something about what the war was about. It’s not a nice thing but it’s got to be done,” she said.
On what he hoped the students would take out of the day, Mr Godfrey said he hoped “they never have to go and be in the war themselves because it’s not a nice place.”
“War doesn’t solve anything, we’re still back to where we were when I was young, so that’s what we’ve got to learn because war doesn’t solve anything…you fight to kill someone you don’t even know, but that’s the way the world is. It’s a violent world,” he said.
Myrniong PS student Hudson Burquest said it was “really exciting” to have his great-grandfather come to the school and share his story.
The Myrniong PS students’ work will be on display at the Ballan RSL, as part of the Ballan RSL and Ballan Shire Historical Society’s Armistice Day 100th Anniversary Display from 5-10 November.

Mr Allan Godfrey’s WWII medals.
Photo – Helen Tatchell
The WWI medals of Allan Godfrey’s father.
photo – Helen Tatchell