The West

Stokes to support WW1 expo

WA businessman Kerry Stokes has pledged to ensure an acclaimed exhibition of photographs of World War I Diggers in France will be shown in WA after a Federal funding cut resulted in the Australian War Memorial abandoning its original tour plans.

Mr Stokes, Seven West Media chairman and keen military historian, said yesterday he had been "very distressed" to learn that the exhibition's WA tour had been scrapped.

Mr Stokes said he would meet AWM director Brendan Nelson to "find a way" to get the exhibition to WA.

Remember Me, the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt, was to have been shown by the WA Museum in Albany, Geraldton, Perth and Kalgoorlie-Boulder next year and in 2016. Many World War I Diggers visited Vignacourt, north-west of Paris, where they were photographed for souvenirs to send home.

Mr Stokes bought more than 800 of the glass plates for the AWM but the memorial said this week the Department of Veterans' Affairs had withdrawn funding from its travelling exhibitions program, which would be wound down immediately.

Mr Stokes said he hoped that finding a way to get the exhibition to WA would allow more people to identify Diggers in their families and "find a part of their history."

He also wanted to ensure Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan, currently at John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, went to other States.

The West Australian

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