Research and restore: Students at Mount Hunter Public School have researched and written a book about local diggers and are anticipating the unveiling of their restored war memorial. Pictured are Isaac Latham, Chantel Wright, Ellie Maiwaring and Chloe Angilley. Picture: Jeff de PasqualeNext year marks the Anzac centenary, but nextFriday, August 22 Mount Hunter Public School is marking another centenary — 100 years since the first Mount Hunter digger enlisted.
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George Iley Dunn was that first digger, and his name along with those of 39 other Mount Hunter locals is listed on the school’s war memorial which will be restored for their open day nextFriday.

In addition to unveiling the improved war memorial, the school will present a book researched and written by students in years 5 and 6, detailing the histories of the 40 Mount Hunter diggers.

P&C executive Mark Latham, who organised the centenary event at the school, said researching the local diggers was an exciting learning opportunity for the students.

‘‘We [the P&C] looked at discovering the reality of the 40 names on the war memorial, because we didn’t know much about them,’’ Mr Latham said.

‘‘Constructing the book was a chance for students to look at the archives and into the history of World War I, and who those 40 people were in our community, not just some obscure names found on a wall on the other side of the country.’’

Mr Latham’s 11-year-old son Isaac was one of the students researching the book, and he feels like he has helped ensure the diggers’ stories are never forgotten.

‘‘The reason I wanted to help was because I felt that some other books don’t have detailed reports on the Mount Hunter soldiers — I want them to be remembered correctly,’’ said Isaac, who is in year 6.

‘‘I felt that I was making a contribution and helping diggers to be remembered well and it felt really nice to be having a purpose in documenting the history.’’

Mr Latham hopes that descendants and relatives of the 40 Mount Hunter diggers commemorated on the war memorial will come to the school and share in the celebrations.

‘‘It’s a chance to honour the men that fought, and many who died over in the war, and find our more about Mr Hunter’s war history,’’ he said.

‘‘Hopefully we can raise awareness of the event and get people to come along — it’s significant for the school.’’

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