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Found WW1 glass plates 'The Lost Diggers'

Rick van Nooij , Mar 09, 2011; 05:26 p.m.

I came across this on Facebook the other day, through the Passchendael Memorial Museum page.
Incredible re-discovered collection of 3000 glass plate photographs taken in a small town of Vignacourt, near Amiens, France. All taken by a husband and wife during the Great War. The pictures show portraits and street views of Allied Soldiers of all nations, including the US, UK and Australia, who came through or billeted in their town.

The pictures have lain undisturbed in an old barn attic for 95 years, until they were recently sniffed out by a "Sunday Night" TV crew.

News Article in the Sydney Morning Herald
Lost Diggers on Sunday Night Website
Photo Archive on The Lost Diggers Facebook page

What I found incredibly interesting is that a lot of folks have been able to identify people in this collection and contacting their relatives, even after so much time. Sometimes it's the only image they've ever seen of their grandfathers and uncles.

A different kind of 'found film' indeed.


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Gene M , Mar 09, 2011; 05:44 p.m.

It'll take a while to get through all of them, but I will. Fabulous.

JDM von Weinberg , Mar 09, 2011; 05:46 p.m.


Thanks very much.

Gene M , Mar 09, 2011; 06:13 p.m.

I can see this happening again a hundred years from now. A Hasselblad H4D-60 is found in someone's garage.

Rick Drawbridge , Mar 09, 2011; 07:10 p.m.

Awesome. Fascinating resource. Thanks, Rick

John Shriver , Mar 09, 2011; 07:50 p.m.

Sadly, I can't see it from flash memory cards in 100 years. Modern NAND flash cards won't remember that long. They are full of errors, hidden by error correcting code. The bits slowly fail, the charge leaks away. They'll all be mush in 10 to 20 years.
I suppose I should point my mother at them, see if my grandfather is in them.

Len Marriott , Mar 09, 2011; 07:53 p.m.

Rick, Wow! And I thought I had some (50 year old) treasures in my old shoebox! Thanks for the links. Best, LM.

Louis Meluso , Mar 09, 2011; 08:17 p.m.

Great! Glass was a wonderful base for emulsion, save the fragility factor. The detail is fantastic on some of those.

Tony Lockerbie , Mar 10, 2011; 06:27 p.m.

This is fabulous, thanks for putting this up, a real treasure. So many young Aussies were lost in this campaign, kind of haunting to see these. Of course they just recently discovered the remains of some diggers in this area, that were hastily buried by German troops, and now finding their way home.

Russ Rosener , Mar 11, 2011; 01:42 a.m.

Thanks Rick! I'm going to dig through there and look for my great grandfather, an American soldier in WWI. These are an amazing find. Curious that it came to light after the last U.S. WWI veteran died last week.

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