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‘Behind the lines – other stories of the Great War: Queensland soldiers in Vignacourt and Naours’
June 8 - July 23 | 10:00am - 4:00pm| $4 – $14
The exhibition explores two incredible finds that help us today to understand more about everyday lives behind the lines. In 2011, Ross Coulthart, re-discovered 4000 glass plates negatives from the First World War in the small village of Vignacourt, in the attic of a farm barn. The photos were taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, who had supplemented their farming income during the war by selling pictures to passing Allied soldiers. The Thuillier Collection was purchased by Kerry Stokes, and the photos of 800 Australian soldiers are in the collection of the Australian War memorial. Only 160 Australian soldiers have been identified. The exhibition tells the story of four soldiers from Vignacourt: Thomas James Belden, Roy Swan Purrsey, and Thomas and William See,
Just a few kilometres from Vignacourt is the village of Naours. The 20 kilometres cave network lies beneath the village, that was used in Medieval times as sanctuary, but during the Great war a place of respite. It has preserved the graffiti left by soldiers, amongst those four Queenslanders: Alfred Henry Clegg, John Trevallon Mathewson, John Patrick Ramkema, and William John Riordan.
The stories of eight Queenslanders in Vignacourt and Naours, practising peaceful activities, can bring us closer to this year’s Anniversary of Armistice and remind us of returned soldiers as well on those who never returned from the Great War.
Open: Tuesday – Friday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm