Sol­diers re­mem­bered

Childers link to France on dis­play at the lo­cal li­brary

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­

RE­MEM­BRANCE Day is a day in which we re­mem­ber the mem­bers of the armed forces who died in the line of duty, and as a sign of re­spect for our re­turned sol­diers.

Ob­ser­vances across the re­gion will as­sume greater sig­nif­i­cance this week with a visit by the mayor of the French town of Vig­na­court.

Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing Mayor Stephane Du­cro­toy to the re­gion and to dis­cuss the link­ages that ex­ist be­tween the French com­mu­nity and the wartime ex­pe­ri­ences of lo­cal First World War ser­vice­men.

Cr Dempsey said Vig­na­court, al­though close to the site of the in­fa­mous Bat­tles of the Somme fought 100 years ago, had been re­garded a place of refuge for sol­diers ei­ther pre­par­ing for or re­cov­er­ing from ac­tion on the front line.

“The town was also home to a French cou­ple who pro­vided a pho­to­graphic ser­vice for sol­diers wish­ing to send an im­age or keep­sake back home,” he said.

“It is quite amaz­ing that in 2010 around 3000 im­ages of sol­diers in­clud­ing 800 Aus­tralians were dis­cov­ered and be­came known as the Lost Dig­gers of Vig­na­court.”

Cr Dempsey said Bund­aberg had forged a great re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity of Vig­na­court with lo­cal schools at Bar­gara and Childers in­volved in a trib­ute pro­gram.

“Among the sol­diers iden­ti­fied in the re­dis­cov­ered im­ages are two Childers broth­ers Wil­liam and Thomas See and this has proven to be a pow­er­ful cat­a­lyst for the in­volve­ment of schools in Childers,” he said.

Ear­lier this year Childers stu­dents wel­comed the his­tory les­son link­ing them to France with guest speaker Michael Fiecht­ner from In­ter­Cul­tural Con­sult­ing Group.

“Re­mem­brance Day on Fri­day, Novem­ber 11, will cer­tainly pro­vide a spe­cial fo­cus on this emo­tional link­age that ex­ists be­tween the Bund­aberg Re­gion and Vig­na­court,” Cr Dempsey said.

“This is a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship that high­lights a place and time where men from this dis­trict served their coun­try gal­lantly,” he said.

“Vig­na­court is not sim­ply a far­away place or name on a map but pro­vides a tan­gi­ble rel­e­vance that we and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions can re­late to and em­brace.”

Mayor Du­cro­toy will also of­fi­cially open an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Childers Li­brary ti­tled Vig­na­court Re­mem­bered.

A high­light, will be the for­mal­i­sa­tion of a Friend­ship Agree­ment, Bund­aberg and Vig­na­court, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties from that agree­ment.

Mayor Du­cro­toy will travel to Can­berra for an of­fi­cial Re­mem­brance Day ob­ser­vance.

Vig­na­court is not sim­ply a far­away place or name on a map — Mayor Jack Dempsey


FILM RTIBUTE: Childers First World War sol­diers Thomas and Wil­liam See (cen­tre and right) will be fea­tured in a film about the Lost Dig­gers of Vig­na­court.

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