14 August 2017

Last Saturday, 1 November marked 100 years since the first ships set sail from Albany carrying Australian and New Zealand troops to the First World War. The journey for many of these young men began with a train trip from Blackboy Hill training camp to Fremantle where they boarded ships and sailed to Albany to form the fleet that would take them to war. Sadly, for many of our young soldiers this would be the last train journey they would experience and the last time they would see their family and friends.

P. C. Anderson (Headmaster, 1904 - 1945) felt the deaths of Old Scotch boys deeply and would take his class of boys down to the railway line each time the train passed Scotch College carrying more troops to war.

The troop trains began to run from Blackboy to Fremantle past the school. Away up the line would sound a faint cock-a-doodle-doo, cock-a-doodle-doo and the shrieking of whistles. From the class which the Boss [P.C. Anderson] was teaching would come a roar of moving feet, the signal for the whole school to go. Down the banks we would tear to line the rails, and cheer our Anzacs-to-be as they passed on to the great adventure.

Anon. 'The Best School of All: Some Reminiscences', Reporter, 1923 p. 12.

It was with much pride that I watched as more than 200 Senior School boys lined the fence along the train line last Friday morning to wave and applaud as a heritage train passed by slowly to commemorate the centenary of this journey.

train passing centenary

The reenactment came on the same day our School Captain, Oliver Heath (Year 12, Cameron) spoke of the 2015 theme Men of Honour. Oliver urged all boys in the Senior School to demonstrate the qualities that define masculinity in this modern age, namely, respect, compassion and empathy. His speech inspired all boys to continue to strive for these masculine ideals.

Dr Rob McEwan

Head of Senior School