From the late 19th century to the 1950s, many wool buyers from the Flanders region of France and Belgium emigrated to Australia with their families to establish careers as buyers for the woollen mills of Europe. Although originally they had no intention of remaining here permanently, many stayed, establishing a prosperous and vibrant French community.
A peaceful period of business building ended suddenly in 1914 when the Flanders men of Australia returned to the defence of their homeland. Their villages, towns and fields became the site of some of the worst killing of World War One. They fought and died in battles all along the Western Front.
Jacqueline Dwyer’s grandfather came to Australia in 1889 and her father, Jacques, saw action with both French and Australian units.
Through the life of this family a story of immigration, commerce and war is brought vividly to life.
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