Died protecting the town in WW1

Premier Jay Weatherill made a pit stop on his European trip to visit a local primary school in Northern France which is to be named after a World War One soldier from Tarlee.

The Blangy-Tronville primary school located in the Somme region is to be renamed Arthur Clifford Stribling School in honor of the soldier.

Private Stribling was a farmer born and raised in Tarlee and was a member of the 50th Battalion which was primarily made up of South Australian’s.

He was 28 when he succumbed to his battle wounds on ANZAC day in 1918 and was buried in Blangy-Tronville alongside 15 other soldiers.

The Premier visited the small town with a population of 552 people on Monday Adelaide time to unveil a plaque with students of the primary school, and also laid a wreath at his grave.

Premier Weatherill reflected on Private’s Stribling’s ultimate sacrifice when he defended the town of Villers-Bretonneux from advancing Germany forces towards the city of Amiens.

“This is a touching tribute for Private Stribling and the brave South Australians who fought and died alongside him on the Western Front,” he said.

“The heroics of Private Stribling and his mates ensured generations of children in Tarlee and Blangy-Tronville could go to school in a peaceful environment.

“Private Stribling wasn’t chosen because he is a decorated war hero, he was chosen because he personifies the typical Aussie digger.”

The Premier also said the honour represented the sacrifices of all South Australian’s on the battlefield.

“Last month, I visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and placed a poppy next to Private Stribling’s name on the Roll of Honour,” the Premier said. 

“I also visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the inscription reads “He is all of them. And he is one of us.” To me, that sentiment encapsulates this honour for Private Stribling, who represents all South Australians who fought on the Western Front.”

The honour is expected to create a close bond between the two small towns, Tarlee is of a similar size with a population of 310.

A group from Tarlee, which will include students from Tarlee Primary, will travel to Blangy-Tronville next year to visit the school and present a portrait of Private Stribling painted by Archibald Prize winner and Riverton local Robert Hannaford.

The state government has committed to provide $30,000 in funding to complete the trip.