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The Lost Diggers - Ross Coulthart

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During the First World War, thousands of Aussie diggers and other Allied troops passed through the French town of Vignacourt, two hours north of Paris. Many had their photographs taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier as souvenirs while they enjoyed a brief respite from the carnage of the Western Front.

For all too many, this was their last moment away from the lines before being sent to their deaths in battles that are now part of the mythology of Australian nationhood - Pozieres, Bullecourt, the Somme. The weariness and horror of battle is reflected in their eyes, but the photos also capture a sense of camaraderie, high spirits and even a soupçon of romance.

The Lost Diggers is the riveting detective story of the hunt across northern France for a rumoured treasure trove of antique glass photographic plates that led investigative journalist Ross Coulthart to an ancient metal chest in a dusty attic in a small farmhouse.

The nearly 4000 glass plates he and his team from Channel 7’s Sunday Night discovered are being hailed by experts as one of the most important First World War discoveries ever made.

But that was just the beginning. With meticulous research and the help of descendants, Ross Coulthart has been able to discover the stories behind many of the photos, of which more than 330 appear in the book.

Part thriller, part family history and part national archive, The Lost Diggers brings together these wonderful images and the amazing stories behind them.

The book will coincide with an exhibition of the photos at the Australian War Memorial, to run from 1 Nov 2012 to 31 July 2013. The AWM attracted more than 800,000 visitors during 2010-11.

About the Author

Ross Coulthart, one of Australia’s foremost investigative journalists, has won five Walkley journalism awards, including the prized Gold Walkley and a Logie. A law graduate, he has previously worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, The New Zealand Herald, ABC TV and Channel Nine.

BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: ROSS COULTHART ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Lost Diggers
 
4.8

(based on 29 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deeply informative (17)
  • Well written (15)
  • Easy to understand (14)
  • Broad appeal (12)
  • Groundbreaking research (6)

Cons

  • Limited appeal (3)

Best Uses

  • Gift (20)
  • Reference (15)
  • Older readers (13)
  • Younger readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual reader (11), Bookworm (8), Everyday reader (8)

Reviewed by 29 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Connecting the ties from the past......

By 

from Perth

About Me Casual Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Broad Appeal
  • Deeply Informative
  • Easy To Understand
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about The Lost Diggers:

    Bought this as a gift for my hubby after attending the Remember Me exhibition in Perth. He's never been one for history but after visiting the museum he's become a covert. The book has only increased his new found passion. It is well written and the photo's are unbelievable. The story behind their discovery is something of a miracle. A must for WWI buffs

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    5.0

    I would buy this product again

    By 

    from Ararat Victoria

    About Me Rarely Read

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deeply Informative
    • Easy To Understand

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Comments about The Lost Diggers:

      I saw this book in a hospital waiting room, and thought this would be a great book for my husband, as he loves war history, and it was his birthday coming up, I was so pleased to find it on your sight. The packaging was fantastic, there was no way that the book would have got damaged......

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      5.0

      Loved by anyone with interest or relatives in WW1

      By 

      from Brisbane Australia

      About Me Casual Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Understand
      • Great Historical Record
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers

        Comments about The Lost Diggers:

        A unique collection of portraits of Australian soldiers in WW1 from nearly 4000 glass slide negatives hunted down to an attic in a French farmhouse at Vignacourt. The soldiers often had their photographs taken to send home to their families. They were often the last or only ones their families have. Many have been identified but many still haven't. Can you help by identifying any? Wonderful images and histories of many of the Diggers. A moving and poignant read with the majority of the book taken up with photographs.

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        4.0

        The Lost Diggers

        By 

        from Wodonga

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deeply Informative
        • Groundbreaking Research

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Military Reference
          • Reference

          Comments about The Lost Diggers:

          I am a amateur historian and this is a beautiful book very large and well laid out with generous size print. It has been very interesting and informative. Maybe someone I am looking for is in this book and unnamed. Excellent purchase. I am very happy with it.

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          4.0

          Stunning book

          By 

          from Ballarat

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Continually Relevant
          • Deeply Informative
          • Historically Important
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Reference
            • Ww1 Interest

            Comments about The Lost Diggers:

            Book is beautifully presented and a poignant reminder of the humanity and sacrifices of WW1

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            5.0

            An amazing book

            By 

            from Brisbane

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Continually Relevant
            • Deeply Informative

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Reference

              Comments about The Lost Diggers:

              This book was an amazing capture of an era that could be quickly forgotten. I have shared it with myy students from ages 7 to 12. They found it inspirational. I love it.

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              5.0

              The Lost Diggers

              By 

              from Far North QLD

              About Me Casual Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Unique Interpretation

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Reference

                Comments about The Lost Diggers:

                Awesome resource, findings and just as a part of history.

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                5.0

                An Awesome read. Part of our history.

                By 

                from Dawesville, Western Australia

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Broad Appeal
                • Deeply Informative
                • Easy To Understand
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Older Readers
                  • Reference

                  Comments about The Lost Diggers:

                  This is a book I am still in awe of. It is to be passed on down my family & I am so glad I stretched my budget to buy it.

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                  5.0

                  Well received Christmas present

                  By 

                  from Country NSW

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Broad Appeal
                  • Easy To Understand
                  • Great Photographs
                  • Groundbreaking Research
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Older Readers
                    • Reference

                    Comments about The Lost Diggers:

                    This large book explores a unique discovery and does so exceptionally well.

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                    5.0

                    Could not put down

                    By 

                    from Heyfield VIC

                    About Me Casual Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deeply Informative

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Gift

                      Comments about The Lost Diggers:

                      Was given to my brother in law as a Christmas gift. I have been told that he loves it and cannot put it down.

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                      Displaying reviews 1-10

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                      ISBN: 9780732294618
                      ISBN-10: 0732294614
                      Audience: General
                      For Ages: 11 - 14 years old
                      For Grades: 7 - 9
                      Format: Hardcover
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 400
                      Published: 1st November 2012
                      Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
                      Country of Publication: AU
                      Dimensions (cm): 30.7 x 30.7  x 4.1
                      Weight (kg): 3.21