For much of the First World War the small French village of Vignacourt was a sanctuary and a base for troops from nearby fighting. Thousands were billeted in houses or slept in the local barns, stables and lofts.
The surrounding fields were populated with training grounds and camps and so the soldiers’ evenings were often free to visit the cafes and the wine bars, a far cry from the battlefields that in reality were only 20 or 30 kms away.
When you start looking, you begin to find traces of the First World War everywhere in Mosman. For me, that was the most surprising and fascinating part of Doing our bit.
As the 100th anniversary to the ending of the war to end all wars draws near, it seems timely to re-cap with a selection of images and finds from the last few years.
AEROPLANE V. AIRSHIP. The Strand Magazine, 1916. See: Raglan St. to RFC: Bill Taylor’s school days & calling to the skies.
When Doing Our Bit was initially proposed I thought what do I know about the Great War? What can I contribute? I needn’t have worried as within a very short time I was inspired by the photographs and stories being shared by relatives of local service people.
In 2013 Mosman Library Services launched this unique online resource. The intention was to formally acknowledge the centenary of the First World War and recognize the sacrifice made by local service people.