Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Lost Diggers

Earlier today I found Helen Vail's excellent blog 100 NZ WW1 Memorials 1914-2014 http://www.100nzww1memorials1914-2014.blogspot/.  Helen's labour of love involves documenting 100 WW1 memorials in New Zealand in time for the centenary of the outbreak of WW1.  Check out her fantastic site, full of humbling stories.  It makes me feel a little pathetic in my attempts to piece together the WW1 records of just three of my great-uncles. 

Helen's site reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I had an email from one of my cousins in Australia suggesting that I might like to look at a Facebook page set up by an Oz TV company.  The had access to a set of photographs, recently rediscovered in France in a farmhouse.  These wonderful photographs were mainly taken towards the end of WW1 and feature Anzacs as well as soldiers of other nationalities.  My cousin thought I might like to peruse the site to see if I could find any of our great uncles.  So far I have managed to rule out anyone wearing a turban, but haven't got much further than that!

The photographs are fantastic in themselves, but as time goes on people are adding their comments and I am so impressed by people who can tell from uniforms, cap badges, stripes on sleeves just which regiment men came from.  My knowledge of the First World War is patchy to say the least, although it is a work in progress.  I am slowly getting to grips with the Royal Army Medical Corps (my grandfather's regiment) and the role of the St John Ambulance (one great-uncle's unit).  When I feel strong enough I shall tackle the Royal Garrison Artillery. 

If you haven't already stopped by the Lost Diggers, have a look at www.facebook.com/#!/lostdiggers.

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