Mayor to visit digger's grave in France image

4 July 2018

The resting place of a lone Australian soldier buried alongside five British allies in a small village in northern France will receive special recognition when Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington visits Peronne later this year.

Council has supported the Mayor visiting Peronne between August 31 and September 2 to attend an event commemorating the centenary of the liberation of Peronne by Australian troops during the First World War.

Mayor of Vraignes en Vermandois Marys Fagot has invited Mayor Wellington to visit the small military extension of their local cemetery where there is one Australian headstone, that of Private William Pullan who has family connections to Albany.

Private Pullan, who was a member of the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, was on the road to Saint Quentin when he was killed on September 7, 1918, this year being the 100th anniversary of his death.

Mayor Wellington said it would be an honour to lay a wreath at the brave soldier’s grave.

“The liberation of Peronne was just an extraordinary exercise by the Australian troops and is still held in the highest regard by the people of France,” he said.

“It was quite literally an uphill battle for the troops on very open ground and it was just remarkable what they were able to do and it is regarded as one of the greatest feats of the war.

“Sadly it did come at a cost and Private Pullan was one of those, so I’m very much looking forward to visiting his resting place and paying my respects.”

Peronne is holding a number of events this year to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.

The City of Albany entered a friendship agreement with Peronne in 2008 because of Albany’s Anzac military heritage, which has become more prevalent during the Anzac Centenary.