Update on the Lost Diggers photographs
Update 9 August 2012:
On 9 August Mr Kerry Stokes AC presented a collection of fragile First World War photographic glass plates to the Australian War Memorial.
These plates form part of the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection, courtesy of the Kerry Stokes collection, uncovered in 2011 after sitting undisturbed for nearly a century in the attic of a farmhouse in the French town of Vignacourt. Mr Stokes is donating more than 800 of these glass-plate negatives, which feature Australian soldiers in informal settings. The discovery of these photographs represents one of the most important recent finds of material from the First World War. The donation is among the most significant to have been made to a cultural institution.
Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt, an exhibition showcasing this unique collection, will open at the Australian War Memorial on 2 November 2012.
28 March 2012
The Memorial has been working hard behind the scenes in preparation for the arrival of the Lost Diggers photograph collection. Kindly loaned by Mr Kerry Stokes AC, the collection of glass plate negatives provides a significant insight into the lives of our troops in France while on rest from the front line.
Planned for November 2012, and followed by a national tour, the exhibition ‘Remember Me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt’ will showcase a selection of photographs from the large collection, along with stories and items from some of the men themselves. Whilst the photographs in the collection are largely unidentified the Memorial, and Channel Seven, have been busy researching and working closely with the public to shed light on who some of these men might be, and what their stories might reveal.
Currently, you can see the Lost Diggers photos on the Channel Seven Facebook page or on the Sunday Night program website. In association with the upcoming exhibition the Memorial aims to make the photographs available online where you will be able to comment, share and research your own family stories.
To further help our research we are seeking help from the public in identifying the men in the photographs. If you think you recognise one of the soldiers, please use the form located at the link below to contact us. Be prepared with as much information as you can about your relative. If we need to contact you, we may ask for a comparative portrait.
Stay tuned for more updates as this project continues. The Memorial looks forward to caring for this collection and the many exciting discoveries to be made along the way.