Soldiers Voyageurs is a project lead by students of the college Les Coudriers of Villers Bocage (a village in France, Picardy more precisely in Somme). The goal is to find the descendants of an Australian soldier whose name was found from the graffiti in the underground city of Naours, searching for his biography.
The underground city of Naours was a shelter to the French during the XVI century. Then it was forgotten and rediscovered by the abbot Danicourt towards the end of the XIXth century. It was also occupied by the German army during the Second World War.
In 2014, Gilles Prilaux, an INRAP archaeologist, made an important discovery. Indeed, he was surprised to see on the walls of the underground city of Naours a large number of graffiti, most of it dating from the First World War. A large number of these had been written by Australians. As a result of this he created a project called "soldiers travelers" in collaboration with the college Les Coudriers of Villers Bocage. The project began in September 2015.
We went to Naours to photograph the names of the soldiers in the tourist hall. They had signed their names on visiting the caves during their free days. We have decoded the different parts of the graffiti: the date of writing, the name of the soldier, his serial number, his army corps And sometimes the places where he went as a soldier. We then did a lot of research at college on computers. We searched on the National Archives of Australia website. As a result of this each student wrote the biography of his soldier. It is important to know that many of these soldiers died young at war so it was difficult or even impossible to find descendants.