Friday, August 10, 2012

Stokes Donates WWI Diggers' Photos to AWM

A collection of photographs of Australian diggers taken during World War I has been donated to the Australian War Memorial.

More than 800 glass plate negatives were discovered in a farmhouse in the French town of Vignacourt last year.

The previously unseen photos were taken in 1916 and 1918 by a local photographer.

Peter Burness from the Australian War Memorial says the images feature Australian diggers during their down time from fighting on the front line of Somme.

"These soldiers had grabbed two weeks respite from what had been some of the most bitter, difficult desperate fighting," he said.

"Photographs from there are limited in number, but they're also limited in the fact that only official photographers were allowed to take photographs so there's no candid private images.

"Here we get to see men straight off the battlefield or about to go on to another one resting."

The glass plates were donated to the War Memorial by Kerry Stokes.

A selection of the images will go on display in November.


Here are some of the images...