VALLEY woman Lynne Carr is still uncovering the history of her late grandfather Victor Gossip who fought in World War One, and the recent Australian feature film ‘Beneath Hill 60’ has shed light on the true tales of his war experiences as a tunneler.
The film, released last week, shows the depth behind Australia’s ‘cat-and-mouse underground mine warfare’ – one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented conflicts of WWI.
The secret struggle beneath the Western Front shown in the movie draws similarities to the stories re-told to Lynne and her family by her grandfather.
“The movie is a great way to remember all those who fought and died in the war,” Lynne said
“You don’t ever hear of the tunnellers.
“When I was a kid he use to always talk about the tunnels they had to build and about all the dynamite they had to carry and the people they came across.”
For Lynne the movie has bought new knowledge of her grandfather’s involvement in the war and a newspaper clipping she came across in a metropolitan paper last year confirmed he was one of the men behind tunnel one.
“In his war papers that we have he was in tunnel three and to my surprise the photo of him that appeared in The Daily Telegraph last year indicated that he was in tunnel one so we have learnt something new.”
Lynne said few on the surface knew of the brave, claustrophobic and sometimes barbaric work of the tunnellers and their input into the war.
“This movie is giving them the recognition they should have been given in the 1920s,” she said.
After being shot in the back and fired upon with mustard gas, Victor was sent back to Europe where he worked to rebuild homes, hospitals and roads.
He returned to his home town of Macksville where he married before moving to Casino where he had his involvement in the next war.
“He worked from his Casino farm during World War Two as a Home Service of Australia Volunteer, looking after things on the home front.”
While Lynne has only seen snippets of the movie, she said she is looking forward to catching the whole film when it hits Clarence Valley cinemas.
Curious about her grandfather’s past, she will continue to research his involvement in the tunnels and build on her family’s history.