Schools: Royal encounter for John Paul College student at Battle of the Somme commemoration

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Danielle Cooper, a John Paul College Year 13 student, meeting Prince Charles. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Danielle Cooper, a John Paul College Year 13 student, meeting Prince Charles. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

John Paul College Year 13 student Danielle Cooper had the chance to meet a prince while commemorating the Battle of the Somme.

Danielle was one of the 10 New Zealand students chosen for the Young Ambassadors' tour, organised by the French Embassy.

The main commemoration of the New Zealand advance during the battle was held last week.

There was a dawn service at the New Zealand memorial in Longueval, attended by Gerry Brownlee and the official ceremony which was attended by Prince Charles.

This was held at Caterpillar Valley where there are many New Zealand graves.

After the ceremony, there was a meet and greet for the some of the invited guests, including the Young Ambassadors.

Prince Charles spoke to each student, asking questions about their trip and their connection with WWI.

Danielle told him about her great uncle who had been injured during the fighting.

The students have already been to Le Quesnoy which the New Zealand troops liberated in the last week of the war and the Wellington Quarry - an underground museum to the memory of thousands of men of the British Army and Dominion Forces who lived under the city during WWI.

In particular, work of the tunnellers of the New Zealand Division is commemorated.

- Supplied by John Paul College

- Rotorua Daily Post

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