Posted by: sommecourt | 26/02/2011

The Lost Diggers

Last winter I helped Australian TV Company Channel 7 track down a unique archive of photographs. These were taken in the Somme village of Vignacourt by Louis Thuillier. The collection will now feature in a TV Documentary. While some of them have appeared in print before, and some are on display in Le Tommy Bar in Pozieres, most have never been seen.

There is a Facebook page about the programme:!/pages/The-Lost-Diggers/194652777219968

And details on the TV company site:



  1. My grandfather – Hugh Norman Covenry – was killed in France during World War 1. He was killed before my father was born. It would be wonderful if he was one of the “lost diggers”. He does not have a grave – my father was told – rather cruelly I believe – that he was blown to bits by a shell. As a matter of interest he was a brother to Gordon and Sid Coventry who were stars for Collingwood Football Club. My grandfather was also a great footballer, and could have well been as famous as his brothers if he had lived. My grandmother – his widow – remarried and had another family. It was only after my father passed away that his medals were given to me by one of his half-brothers. I have since discovered through the War Memorial that my grandfather received a commendation for bravery. Of course I would love to have met him.

    • My grandfather was Sydney Coventry, a younger brother of Hugh Norman Coventry. My father was also called Hugh Norman, and like his father was an excellent footballer but his career was much limited by service in the RAAF during WW2.

      • Hello David. I never met your grandfather, but did meet Gordon. I am wondering today if my grandfather played football with Collingwood, and if he did, is his name on the trophy given to the winner of today’s football game. Do you know by any chance?

  2. Hi. Checking out Lost International Soldiers photographs at See number 44 out of 111, I am sure it is a photo of the man pictured in the photograph on this page.

    • Yes, that’s where then image comes from…

  3. Watched the great story on Channel 7. I know what must feel like to find a very large collection of glass plate photos (re the CAC collection from WWII that I found). I digress.

    My mothers father was a dispatch rider on the Somme and survived. His name was Sgt Reginald (Reg) Leo Power, MSM (Corporal at the time), No 1132, 5th Australian Divisional Signal Company. I have one photo of him in uniform that I can supply if this will help you in the recognition process. The award was given for service during the Ypres Sector battle from 10/10/17 to 28/10/17.

    Three other relatives did not survive and are buried at Ration Farm, Ramparts and Toynecot respectively. They are:-

    1.Sgt Albert Chalmers Power, No 3895, 59th Battalion, Ration Farm, Nth France Plot V1, Row H, Grave No 41, KIA at Fromelles, 19th July 1916.

    2. Driver Francis James Freame, No 13979, Aust Army Service Corp, Ramparts, Lille Gate, Belgium, Plot B, Grave No 9, KIA 29/10/17.

    3. L/Corp Edmund (Tom) Freame, No 1226, 5th Battalion, Tynecot, Passchendale, Belgium, Plot LXI, Row E, Grave No 16, KIA 20/9/17 Blackwatch corner.

    I visited all three graves last year (2010 Anzac Day)and would love to find another photo of my relatives to just connect with all the stories I have been told since a child.

    Denis Baker, Burleigh Heads, 07 55204424 or 0418 799 729.

  4. I cannot describe to you the delight it has been to my whole family to discover a photograph of my great grandfather among these images. A treasure indeed. I wish to support all efforts in retrieving and preserving these magical photographs and the history they contain

  5. of a very old delapidated picture of G.Uncle Jack and it would be wonderful if there were more images of him found some day.

  6. Great Uncle Jack Hardisty was K.I.A in France 9th October 1917 and never found. I am the current proud owner of a very old delapidated picture of G.Uncle Jack and it would be wonderful if there were more images of him found some day. He was killed when my Mum was only 3 days old.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: