Lieutenant John Doyle from Warwick and a group of soldiers passing through a village.
Lieutenant John Doyle from Warwick and a group of soldiers passing through a village. Contributed

War photo of Aussie digger forms link to Warwick

THIS week in France, The Scots PGC College students made an unexpected connection with a Warwick family on its tour of the Somme battlefields.

During the visit to the renowned Thuillier photographic exhibition in Vignacourt, a face emerged from a reproduced photograph from early last century of a soldier from Warwick near the front line on the Western Front.

Lieutenant John Doyle from Warwick was a 32-year-old infantryman injured near Pozieres in 1916.

Originally from Warwick, Lieutenant Doyle was photographed in front of a cloth backdrop in a barn that the students visited in Vignacourt.

The photographs were rediscovered in 2010 by an Australian journalist and much time has been spent identifying the subjects of the photos.

Monsieur Thuillier was a local man who photographed soldiers who passed through his village on the way to, or on their return from, the nearby front line.

Lieutenant Doyle survived the war and returned to Warwick.

The Scots touring party has done a number of tours of the area in between performances in towns surrounding Villers Brettoneux prior to participating in the Dawn Service on Anzac Day.

The group was proud to perform at the official opening of Australia Week in the Vignacourt Hall in front of a large crowd of local town folk and dignitaries and watched a dramatic piece performed by members of the local youth group.

The drama was a powerful narrative of the connection between Australia and the Village through which so many young Australians passed through for the last time in 1916.



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