The National Servicemen of the Pine River branch assisted the students of the Pine River State School in the making of wreaths to be sent to Poperinge to be placed on the graves of the first world war soldiers.

2006 - Apr
2005 - Nov

On 29 September 1917, ten members of the 11th Australian Machine Company died in action on the Western front in Belgium.

Their position may have been overrun in a German offensive or been the victim of an intense artillery barrage. They were buried close to the Belgian town of Poperinge, which also is the headquarters of the Toc H movement. They were: L/Cpl Norman Victor Cox; Pte Theodore Carlisle McLean; Pte S.C.Morrison; Pte George Arthur Clark; L/Cpl W Scott; Pte Albert Card; Pte William Alfred Smith; Pte John Joseph Lehane; Pte F J O’Callaghan and
Pte Walter Hopkins

Now the Diggers are being remembered in an exchange between Strathpine West State School, near Brisbane and the students of the Poperinge Public School. The Queensland students have made ten wreaths which were laid in a special ceremony for Anzac Day. The wreaths will be flown to Belgium by the Fosters Group, which has Belgian affiliates, and laid by the Poperinge students on the Australian graves on Remembrance Day, 11 November.

The Belgian Consul, Mr.Neville Newnes, attended the ceremony and laid the first wreath.
Pine Rivers National Servicemen paraded in the Australian, New Zealand, Belgian, Queensland and National Service flags for the moving tribute to all Australians killed on active service.
Belgian Consul, Mr.Neville Newnes, Nasho David Hopkins and Strathpine West school captain with one of the wreaths.

The Nashos provided the materials for the wreaths. They came about when David Hopkins, who also is a member of Toc H, found the grave of his great uncle, Private Walter Hopkins at Poperinge. Toc H’s headquarters, Talbot House, was founded in the town to provide rest and relaxation facilities for the thousands of Allied servicemen moving to and from the front. They included many Australians.

The Pine Rivers Branch now will erect a memorial in the school grounds bearing Australian, Belgian and National Service plaques. The two schools will exchange the Australian and Belgian flags which be flown on appropriate days.

In Poperinge, on a cold November Remembrance Day, the students of the Public School, led by their teacher, Mr.Roland de Taeye, (at far right) laid the wreaths in one of the endless rows of Commonwealth graves that ring the town.

The Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, Mrs. De-Anne Kelly, presented the children with an Address from the people and Government of Australia and an Australian flag which was conveyed to them by the Naval Attache at the Australian Embassy in Brussels

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row.......




On 29 September 1917, 10 members of the 11 Australian Machine Gun Coy were killed in action on the Western Front.

They are buried at the Poperinge New Cemetery No.2, near Ypres.

They are: L/Cpl Norman Victor Cox, Pte Theodore Carlisle McLean, Pte S.C.Morrison, Pte George Arthur Clark, L/Cpl W Scott, Pte Albert Card, Pte William Alfred Smith, Pte John Joseph Lehane, Pte F J O’Callaghan and Pte Walter Hopkins

On Remembrance Day 2005, the children of the Poperinge Public School, in Belgium, led by their teacher, Mr.Roland de Taeye, laid wreaths on the graves of the Australian Diggers.

The children of the Strathpine West State School, north of Brisbane, had made the wreaths for Anzac Day 2005. The wreaths were flown to Belgium by Fosters Ltd.

The then Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon. De-Anne Kelly MP sent with the wreaths a framed Message of Appreciation from the people and Government of Australia and an Australian flag.

These were taken to Poperinge by the Naval Attache at the Australian Embassy in Brussels for the ceremony on a cold Autumn day on 11 November.

Poperinge is ringed with war cemeteries and the people of Belgium remember with gratitude the part Australians played in liberating them from German occupation in both World Wars.

The children read out the name of each Australian Digger and then laid a wreath on his headstone.

The bonds between Belgium and Australia have been renewed by a new generation of young people.



29 September 1917
II H 32 L/Cpl Norman Victor Cox
II H 33 Pte Theodore Carlisle McLean
II H 34 Pte S.C.Morrison
II H 35 Pte George Arthur Clark
II H 36 L/Cpl W Scott
II H 37 Pte Albert Card
II H 38 Pte William Alfred Smith
II H 39 Pte John Joseph Lehane
II H 40 Pte F J O’Callaghan
II H 41 Pte Walter Hopkins
( Pte = Private. L/Cpl = Lance Corporal CPl = Corporal )

Looking from the road towards the War Memorial, the graves are on the right-hand side about four rows from the front. They are all in the one group