Tuesday, 26 April 2016

George Duggan, 1896-1918

A few days ago I visited for the first time the grave of my uncle (above left) in Vignacourt, northern France. The graveyard is a small one compared to some, on the edge of the village in the middle of farming country. My uncle was one of many who died in 1918, months from the end of the war. It seems strange that I could have an uncle who died so long ago but my father’s family was a big one. He was one of the youngest of ten in a family living in a then remote country area in northeast Victoria. George Duggan was the oldest son. And my father, one of the youngest, was forty when I was born. The photograph below shows the extended family in 1918, wearing black armbands. My father is the ten year old boy wearing a hat on the right front row (his sister – and schoolteacher - is next to him).

And here is a photograph of the (Australian Rules) football team of Ensay, Victoria, in the early 1930s. The first two figures in the back row are my uncles Tom and Charles. in the middle row is my uncle Jack (third from left, who would be imprisoned in Changi during the Second World War) and two brothers, Charlie and Arthur Taylor (fourth and fifth from the left in this row) who would marry two of my father’s sisters. My father, Jim, appears on the right in the front row.