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.

Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt collection

If you would like to ask a question about any of the images in Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt, please read our Frequently Asked Questions. If you think you have identified a relative in one of the photographs in the Vignacourt collection, please contact our curators at photofilmsound@awm.gov.au.

Tour dates

Gallery State Start Finish
Hamilton Art Gallery VIC 22 July 2017 3 September 2017
Venue to be confirmed TBC 15 September 2017 19 December 2017
Warwick Art Gallery QLD 6 January 2018 15 February 2018
Murray Bridge Gallery SA 3 March 2018 29 April 2018
Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery QLD 12 May 2018 8 July 2018
Cowra Regional Art Gallery NSW 28 July 2018 2 September 2018
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery QLD 15 September 2018 11 November 2018
       
Completed Dates      
Queensland Museum   April - July 2014  
State Library of SA   Aug - Oct 2014  
State Library of NSW   Nov 2014 - Jan 2015  
Western Australian Museum, Perth   June - Aug 2015  
Western Australian Museum, Albany   Sept - Nov 2015  
Western Australian Museum, Kalgoorlie   Dec 2015 - Feb 2016  
Western Australian Museum, Geralton   Feb - May 2016  
Glasshouse Gallery   Dec 2016 - Feb 2017  
Pinnacles Gallery   Feb - April 2017  

Courtesy Kerry Stokes collection, the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection

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Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt photographs
View the collection

The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection contains almost 4,000 glass-plate negatives depicting British, French, Australian, US, and Indian soldiers, Chinese labour corps, and French civilians. More than 800 of these glass-plate negatives featuring Australians were generously donated to the Memorial by Mr Kerry Stokes AC in August 2012. You can view all the Thuillier images donated to the Memorial on these webpages.

The Australian War Memorial’s exhibition Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt showcases 74 photographs specially hand-printed in the Memorial’s darkrooms from the original glass-plate negatives. You can see more images from The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection on Seven Network’s Lost Diggers Facebook page.