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On Monday 18 June 2018, Wollondilly Anglican College students, dignitaries and veterans gathered at a ceremony to witness the official unveiling and dedication of the new Anzac Memorial Shelter within the College grounds, and pay tribute to soldiers who died in the First World War. Named ‘The Shoulder to Shoulder Shelter,' the memorial is a large pergola-like structure, covering an expanse of paved area and several raised garden beds. In one of the beds on the eastern side of the shelter is a sandstone memorial stone, bearing the words that many lost diggers have on their headstones, 'Known Unto God.' Behind the stone is a sculpture of a cross with a Slouth Hat on the top.
Outside the western end of the shelter is a large bronze statue of a First World War soldier holding the hand of a little girl in his right hand and a First World War Bible in his left hand. The little girl is looking up at the soldier, smiling and saying “thank you for paying such a price, lest we forget,” and the soldier is replying “thank you for finding me.” The soldier stands at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 metres) tall. The statue is positioned under a Lone Pine tree that was grown from the seeds collected by an Australian soldier/Digger in 1915 from the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli.
The soldier is 20 year-old Acting Sergeant William Polding Ryan, 1520 from Crystal Creek NSW, uncle of a long-time Wollondilly poultry farmer. He was killed in action at the Battle of Fromelles and his body/remains were identified by DNA testing in 2010. He represents all diggers who fought and all those who died at Fromelles on 19-20 July 1916. The girl is a student from the College, who is Ryan's great-great-great-great-niece.
Access to the memorial and College grounds is by appointment only by contacting the College Administration.
100 years of ANZAC
The Spirit Lives 2014 – 2018
Known Until God
We Will Remember Them
Lest We Forget