The ten Young Ambassadors selected for their leadership potential and their high interest in and commitment to the Duty of Remembrance will fly to France tomorrow, just in time to be part of the 100th Anniversary of New Zealand involvement in the Battle of the Somme, to be celebrated at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery Longueval in September 15.
The Dawn Service and the National Service are organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and are an opportunity to commemorate the shared sacrifice one hundred years ago: the New Zealand Division lost 7,500 men on the Somme.
The two-week Battle of the Somme and Western Front Tour also includes a welcome at the Le Quesnoy town hall and a visit of the city where The New Zealand Division captured 2000 Germans and sixty field guns in November 2018, as well as to Thiepval, the biggest memorial in the World.
The trip will take them across the border to Belgium to attend the Menin Gate Ceremony and visit Messines. This village was taken by troops from the New Zealand Division.
Alongside visits, the Young Ambassadors will also be welcomed at the Secretariat d’ Etat aux Anciens Combattants et à la Mémoire in Paris and will meet the Director of the Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale .
The Young Ambassadorsand their two chaperones will be hosted in Arras by teachers and families of four schools (Lycée Gambetta - Carnot, Lycée Le Caron, Lycée Guy Mollet and Lycée Alain Savary) who have expressed a keen interest in joining in the Shared Histories programme.
The Young Ambassadors have at heart to grow this interest and come back with a project partner on their return to their New Zealand school.
The ten Young Ambassadors will be joined for some time in the schools by another four young people from Samoa, Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands who too are in France for the Somme commemorations after winning a WW100 writing competition.
There will be ample opportunity for them all to meet French students and teachers in their schools, to introduce their town and country to them, and present the theme of their personal projects, as they all have been exploring an aspect of the impact world war one had in their communities.
You are invited to follow the Young Ambassadors on tour with regular postings on the Facebook page and look out for #ya2016nz on Twitter and Instagram
View the full itinerary here