The Young Digger……. Bullecourt, France
This figure, cast in bronze by sculptor Peter Corlett, was unveiled in 1993 as a memorial to the Battles of Bullecourt. The cocky slouch hat contrasts with his serious demeanour as he looks over the fields where 6000 German and 7000 Australian casualties resulted from the two Battles of Bullecourt.
The first was over the snowy landscape on April 11th, 1917 which was a resounding failure. It was the result of poor planning by the British Commanders and an unfortunate faith in the new tanks which floundered in the mud. The second battle was a resounding success as part of a major British assault on a 25 kilometre front and was planned in the extreme including two complete ‘dress-rehearsals’ over an actual layout of the battlefield. The battle began May 3rd and lasted until the 17th when the Australians settled into positions which were held intact until the great German Spring offensive of March 1918.