|Black & white - Print silver gelatin
|United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
|25 April 1919
First World War, 1914-1918
Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
This item is in the Public Domain
Portrait of Henri Heremene, known as Digger, the mascot of No 4 Squadron, Australian Flying ...
Portrait of Henri Heremene, known as Digger, the mascot of No 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, in a tailored AIF uniform made for him in London at the expense of the squadron's members as they were preparing for their trip home. Digger, an orphaned French boy, was smuggled aboard the homeward bound transport ship Kaisar-I-Hind by Private (Pte) Timothy W Tovell, an air mechanic with the squadron and was the self appointed guardian of the boy. After being discovered aboard official arrangements were made, with the help of the Queensland Premier who was on board, for Digger to land in Sydney and proceed to Brisbane under the care of Pte Tovell. After discharge Tim Tovell adopted the boy and cared for him until Digger was 18 when he departed for Melbourne to join the RAAF. As he could not be naturalised until he became 21 the boy could only work for the RAAF as a civilian. Henry Heremene (Digger) Tovell died on 24 May 1928 as the result of a motor cycle accident. There is evidence of Henri signing his name as Honore, indicating it may be his real name. (Donor RSSILA Brisbane Sub-Branch)