The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt in Adelaide

You’ve all heard of the “Lost Diggers of Vignacourt” collection haven’t you? This is the collection of glass negatives that was discovered in a trunk in a farmhouse in France and belonged to photographers Louis Thuillier and his wife Antoinette who lived in Vignacourt. Through their photographs they have recorded one of the most unique historical records of the First World War he world has ever seen. They took it upon themselves to photograph the soliders from around the world who ended up in their little French village during WW1. You can read an earlier post I wrote about this here.

The Australian War Memorial’s site describes the Collection in the following way …

“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”.

When I look at these images (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) I want to know the story behind the people in them. I want to know what their life in France was like at the time. And what happened to them afterwards. Simply put these images are evocative, and simply astounding. So when I heard that the Lost Diggers exhibition was heading Adelaide, I put it on my MUST DO list.

Anyway today was the day when I was able to tick that bucket-list item as done, and it was absolutely, totally well worth the visit to the city.

The exhibition which is held in the State Library of South Australia showcases just a small portion of the photograph collection, but it still took Mr Lonetester and I ages wandering around reading the captions for each photograph and exhibit. We found that looking at them it takes you into a different world, one that I found very humbling.

Remember Me Lost Diggers Exhibition

And here’s just a few pics from our visit to the exhibition …

the State Library of South Australia

the State Library of South Australia

the entrace to the Lost Diggers exhibition at the State Library of South Australia

the entrance to the Lost Diggers exhibition at the State Library of South Australia

Mr Lonetester and me

Mr Lonetester and me

the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt in Adelaide

the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt in Adelaide

the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt exhibition

this is THE trunk. The one that the Thuillier glass negatives were discovered in

this is THE trunk, the one that the Thuillier glass negatives were actually discovered in

My suggestion is that is you get a chance to go and see this exhibit, DO IT!  It’s still on in Adelaide for a little while, before moving on to Sydney from November.

7 Responses to “The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt in Adelaide”

  1. You have whetted my appetite. Definitely worth a visit.

  2. Jenni says:

    Thanks for allerting us to this very special exhibition. Will try and get here before it finishes.

  3. katrina Treloggen says:

    is it comming to TASMANIA?

    • Alona says:

      Hi Katrina, I’m not aware of the exhibition going to Tasmania at all, but you could always check with the Australian War Memorial on that.

  4. Bill says:

    Jus looking through my wonderful copy of “The Lost Diggers.” And notice it was compiled with much assistance from the networking on Facebook, so thought I’d look it up. And lo you have just been visiting the exhibition in the last few days, well worth it, I took a number of photos of it when it was on display at the AWM, see and some others….

    I will enjoy your blog here.

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