Bunbury student attends 2021 Premier's ANZAC student tour

Darcy with his great-great-grandfather's Distinguised Conduct Medal, the 1914-15 Star, a British War Medal and a Victory Medal 1914-1919.
Darcy with his great-great-grandfather's Distinguised Conduct Medal, the 1914-15 Star, a British War Medal and a Victory Medal 1914-1919.

DARCY Reid is one of 14 students who was selected to attend the 2021 Premier's Anzac Student Tour.

After being cancelled last year due to COVID, the Premier's Anzac Student Tour will this year see students focusing on the home front in Kununnura, Broome, Rottnest and Albany, in place of visiting Darwin and Singapore.

Mr Reid told the Mail that it was his personal connection to the Anzac legacy that inspired him to apply to be on the tour in 2019.

"My great-great-grandfather Clifton Thomas Ballingall fought on the Western Front as a Battery Sergeant Major in the third Australian Medium Trench Mortar Battery," Mr Reid said.

Mr Reid said it was Clifton's skill with setting up and delivering ammunition to a Hotchner quick firing gun that saw him receive a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

"He was carrying ammunition to the gun whilst being under fire. That's when he got onto the gun and pretty much just blew all the Turkish snipers to smithereens."

Mr Reid is a year 11 student at Bunbury Senior High School and said he first heard about the tour when he became part of the school's Gifted and Talented program.

Applications to be part of the tour open in March each year prior and include a 1000 word essay answering a question related to the Anzac tradition and how it affects the applicant and their community.

Mr Reid is thinking about going into the Army after he graduates high school.

He currently enjoys being a Warren Officer in Army Cadets, a position that Clifton held towards the end of his time in the Second World War.

"I was inspired by my family history to join Army Cadets three years ago. In Cadets there's a really strong focus on the Anzac legacy and tradition. I enjoy wearing Clifton's medals on Anzac Day as well because you really think, damn, they did quite a bit back then and if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have the freedom and all the luxuries we have today," Mr Reid said.

The Premier's Anzac Student Tour began on April 16 and will run over ten days, taking students to historical sites including the flying boat wrecks in Broome, the Oliver Hill battery and tunnels on Rottnest.

Mr Reid said he was excited for Broome in particular as his great, great grandfather on his Mum's side worked on the Durack cattle stations which the group will visit.

"To me Anzac Day is a day of reflection, but most importantly I would say it's a way to connect with your family and understand your history."

The 14 students on the tour will commemorate Anzac Day at the Desert Mountain Corps Memorial dawn service on Mount Clarence in Albany, on April 25.