Diggers to feature in movie
WWI Childers soldiers to be part of Photos in the Attic film
Michael Fiechtner They were to find themselves billeted and resting in the small village of Vignacourt
TWO Childers Diggers from the First World War will be featured in a movie project called Photos in the Attic that was officially launched at Southbank in Brisbane on November 11.
Photos in the Attic will be a feature film set in the towns of Childers and Vignacourt in France and tells the story of men like William and Thomas See, who enlisted and found themselves on the horrendous battlefields of the First World War, including Poziers and Villers Brettoneux on the Somme and Paschendaele in Belgium.
It is planned to have the movie completed in late 2018 to commemorate the 100-year centenary of the Armistice of November 1918.
Michael and Donna Fiechtner from InterCultural Consulting Group are the project creators and executive producers and said the movie would explore the unique relationships developed in Vignacourt, set against the backdrop of the amazing Thuillier photographic collection now residing in the Australian War Memorial.
“Nearly 100 years ago during the Great War, a small village behind the lines, Vignacourt, was thrust unknowingly into history through photographs being taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier,” Mr Fiechtner said.
“The images taken showed a side of the war never captured before – the relationship between Aussie Diggers and the French people who made them a home away from home for a short period of time.”
Mr Fiechtner said the amazing photographs, when found in 2010, were to become the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt – more than 4000 photographic plates, and around 800 depicting Australian Diggers on the way to and from the frontlines.
“These photographic plates, thanks to the generosity of Mr Kerry Stokes, now reside in the Australian War memorial in Canberra,” he said.
Only around 130 of the plates have been formally identified, now including those of two Diggers from Childers verified by family members
“William and Thomas See were 23 and 25-year-old brothers from the Childers district who enlisted in January 1916 and were to spend most of the war in the 52nd Battalion taking part in some of the most intense and significant battles on the Somme,” Mr Fiechtner said.
“In late December 1916 and early January 2017 they were to find themselves billeted and resting in the small village of Vignacourt.
“It was here that they were captured on photographic plates, and these photos now identified by family members through seeing them in Ross Coulthart’s publication, The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt.”
Both brothers survived the First World War and returned home to continue life in the Childers area.
Mr Fiechtner said Childers had a unique place in Australian history.
“Although war records are difficult to substantiate, it is believed that the Isis District had the highest rate of enlistments per capita of any other region in Australia – all volunteers, and their loss of life per capita was also the highest. The amazing local war memorial in the town is testament to this,” he said.
“In a region with a population of just 6000, 400 young men enlisted, of which 60 gave their lives and over 170 further were maimed and returned broken to their region.”
You can check out the details of this project at the project website. www. photos in the atticproject.com.
ON THE BIG SCREEN: William (left) and Thomas See will be featured in a movie project called Photos in the Attic.