Sounds of silence: Names of WW1 fallen recorded by Bega pupils

YOUNG pupils from across the South East have been recording the names and ages of people on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour.

For the Centenary of World War 1, the Australian War Memorial is undertaking the Roll of Honour Soundscape project to be played in the background at the War Memorial in Canberra from August. 

The War Memorial asked the ABC to record Australian children reading the 62,000 names and, if there were any, ages at the time of death on the Roll of Honour. 

Ten schools in the region sent about 10 pupils each to record at the ABC South East NSW Radio Station in Bega.

Each school was given 50 names to read out. 

ABC South East Radio regional content manager Ian Campbell said the recordings had been going well, and having the young children in the studio had been lots of fun. 

On Thursday, Year 6 pupils from Mumbulla Steiner School and Bega Valley Public School were given a tour of the radio station before recording their names. 

While a little hesitant at first before recording, as soon as they started saying the names out loud their confidence picked up. 

Pupils from the public schools of Cobargo, Eden, Pambula, Merimbula, Cooma North, Bombala, Central Tilba and Lumen Christi have also contributed to the project.

War Memorial director Brendan Nelson talked about what the project will be like in the museum, in a video on the War Memorial’s website. 

“There are 62,000 names of mainly men, but also women, who gave their lives for us, for our nation, during the First World War,” Dr Nelson said. 

“[When] you are reflecting on the sacrifice of these men and women, you will hear these young voices progressively and slowly just recite the name each one of them, and their age at the time of their death.”

He said these recordings will be kept at the War Memorial forever, as they will become part of the national collection. 

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