Teneisha Ross’ emotions pulse when she speaks about an Australian soldier who died a century ago.
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She got emotional because of the respect she has for Private William Lincoln Rae and on Remembrance Day (Sunday November 11) she stood up, paused and remembered this fallen Australian soldier.
Remembrance Day was marked on Sunday November 11 all around Australia and this year Teneisha bowed her head and thought about Private Rae.
Young Private Rae was shot and killed instantly during the Battle of Amiens, the great allied offensive that would ultimately end the war.
The Vincentia High School student went overseas with the Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship (PAMS) group earlier this year.
She did a research project on Private Rae before the trip.
The Vincentia High School student visited the site where Private Rae is buried.
“He was 24-years-of-age when he went to war and he never came back,” she said.
Teneisha, in front of the rest of the touring party, said a few words about Private Rae at the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.
The heartbreaking words “Another life lost, hearts broken for what” appears on his gravestone.
“I said my speech and I got a bit teary - it was very emotional. Also, I felt proud to stand there and recognise him and tell his story,” she said.
“So yes that was one of the big moments of the trip.
“The experience is going to stick with me forever.”
In a photo, I saw of him, he looked young and kind of innocent in a way- Teneisha Ross
She said the group took part in another special ceremony.
“Each year the PAMS group gets ashes from burnt paper stars which had names of soldiers who did not return home on them,” she said.
“We get to select a spot on the tour where to scatter the ashes and remember the soldiers.
“We also mention someone we want to remember and that was also a very emotional thing to do as well.”
She, of course, remembered “her solder”.
“I also wanted to remember all the people who did not return home,” she said.
The group, when they went to the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium for a service, had a special role.
“We were the guard of honour and it was a very special moment,” she said
Teneisha applied to get this opportunity and urged other students to also find out more about the Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship scheme.
The 16-year-old year 11 student would love to visit the area again and she would definitely pay a visit to Private William Lincoln Rae’s grave
“In a photo, I saw of him, he looked young and kind of innocent in a way,” she said.
She would like to thank the organisers of the trip and said she was grateful for the opportunity.
Hearing and singing Australia’s national anthem now has more significance for Teneisha.
“We stood up to sing the national anthem at Battle of Hamel service and people from all different nations were there and it just made you feel so proud when we stood up and sang the anthem,” she said.
Going to the various cemeteries was one the things Teneisha said was special.
“It was very emotional but really amazing to see the scale of it because it’s different to see it in person,” she said
Teneisha said it was obvious that the sacrifice made by Australian on the battlefields was still appreciated.
Read more: On the home front during WW1
Read more: Stories of our heroes
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