Tuesday 8 May 2018
LONG LOST CONNECTION BLOOMS WITH PERTH MINT POPPY WALL
Upon delivery of The Perth Mint’s Centenary Poppy Wall of Remembrance at the Returned and Services League (RSL) WA this week, receptionist Jemma Holland was met with the familiar face of her long lost great great grandfather and veteran, James ‘Jim’ Holland.
Installed at the Mint’s heritage grounds in East Perth in the lead up to Anzac Day, the poppy wall featured an unnamed soldier beneath the words ‘We will remember them’.
Adorned with 6,000 silk poppies purchased from RSLWA and individually placed as a mark of respect by members of the public, the memorial honoured the original band of Anzacs and all servicemen and women who have served our country.
RSLWA Chief Executive Officer John McCourt was the first among the crowds to pay his respects, so in support of the RSL’s mission to preserve the Anzac memory, the poignant tribute was donated by the Mint and now stands tall in the veteran association’s waiting room.
Upon receipt of the memorial at the State branch of the RSL, matched by familiar eyes, Ms Holland knew she had seen the image of the soldier somewhere before.
“I had a feeling when I looked at the wall that the man was more than a stranger,” Ms Holland said.
“It took me a few days to put the pieces together.
“My great great grandfather Jim was also featured on the cover of The Lost Diggers book, which confirmed our connection,” she continued.
James ‘Jim’ Holland served as a machine-gunner in the Great War. The image was captured by Frenchman Louis Thuillier and his wife in Vignacourt and formed part of a collection of photographs that remained hidden in Thuillier’s farmhouse attic until they were discovered by Channel 7 in 2011.
Jim was fortunate to return from war and be reunited with his family.
Lest We Forget.
For further information, interviews or photography, please contact:
Kiara Canavate, Media and Events Officer, The Perth Mint
T: (+61 8) 9421 7204
M: +61 431 313 666
Image Caption: RSLWA receptionist Jemma Holland discovers a connection with featured WWI veteran James ‘Jim’ Holland.