Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt at the War Memorial

By 2 November 2012 3

Event Schedule
  • 1 November 2012 to 31 July 2013


An intriguing exhibition up on the War Memorial website:

The small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines. For much of the First World War it was a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme. Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt tells the story of how one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of this passing traffic to establish a business taking portrait photographs.

Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs made by the Thuillier family enabled Australian soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones in Australia. The Thuillier collection covers many of the significant aspects of Australian involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians. The exhibition showcases a selection of the photographs as handmade traditional darkroom prints and draws on the Memorial’s own collections to tell the story of these men in their own voices.

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3 Responses to
Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt at the War Memorial
miz 8:53 am
03 Nov 12

I find such exhibitions fascinating. And I always find myself peering at the unidentified soldiers to see if I can find any family resemblances (having ancestors who fought in the Great War).

Also, I wonder if the soldier named ‘Lance Corporal Horace Arnold Parton’ in the group of three from 5th Battalion on the AWM site is related to 2CC’s Mark? It’s not that common a name.

Madam Cholet 8:11 am
05 Nov 12

Slightly off the topic, but we spent some time at the War Memorial this weekend – starting with breaky at the Terrace cafe – which was great – such a beautiful spot, great service and good food. We then took Master Cholet who is 4 into the actual War Memorial to have a look about. Some of the exhibitions such as the Discovery Zone and G for George he found a bit confronting – dark, lots of flashing lights and loud noises, but managed to push through with a bit of coaxing. But just have to say that the staff here are out of this world, friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, kid friendly. Other ‘local attractions’ could learn a lot.

SnapperJack 11:58 am
05 Nov 12

They’re very good quality prints considering the age of the negatives and the fact they were old glass negatives which had been lying undisturbed in France for a century.

Digital restoration has come a long way, witness how Wake In Fright was brought back from the dead.

I can just imagine the reaction of the AWM officer when they found this treasure trove. A real OMG moment.

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