*Beneath Hill 60

John Laffin’s Guide to Australian Battlefields of the Western Front describes Hill 60, near Ieper as:

“One of the most famous positions on the Western Front, the hill had been formed in the 19th century from the spoil of a deep railway cutting. ….. The hill’s height of 60 metres gave it immense strategic importance in a flat country and both sides continually fought for it.” 

Photo: Beneath Hill 60 book cover 

On Monday 22 March, FFFAIF member, Historian and Writer Will Davies launched the book Beneath Hill 60 giving the true story behind the feature film of the same name. Beneath Hill 60 is now available at booksellers.

Photo: Will Davies [Random House]

The feature film Beneath Hill 60 commences screening in cinemas in Australia on 15th April 2010. Paramount Pictures has launched the BENEATH HILL 6O Official website where the 1st chapter of the book can be downloaded and also contains cast and actor biographies and a Gallery.

Photo: Beneath Hill 60 feature film poster  [Paramount]

The Silence Productions’ web site Beneath Hill 60 contains historical background, detail on how the script was developed, details of the making of the movie as well as a link to their blog site at http://beneathhill60.blogspot.com/ that features photos of FFFAIF member Will Davies at the launch of his book.

Hill 60 featured in the 60 Minutes item The Big Bang on 28 March 2010 with extracts from the feature film Beneath Hill 60 and with Ray Martin on the film set in Townsville, north Queensland.  Video and the transcript of the 60 Minutes item can be viewed on-line by following the Video and transcript links.

Photo: 6 July 1917. Looking from an old crater on the north side of Hill 60, over the shell pitted ground towards Zillebeke Lake. [http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/AWM E01911 A.W.M.]

A short background to the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, its role at Hill 60 and further reading are presented in RECENT NEWS Item: 1st Aust Tunnelling Co.

Photo: AWM P02228.001 Ypres, Belgium. c. 1923. A monument erected at Hill 60 to commemorate men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, who died during mining operations between November 1916 and July 1917. This structure replaced an earlier one constructed in 1919 by the Company. This replacement is very plain and bears no symbols whereas the first memorial was surmounted by a cross. [http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P02228.001 A.W.M.]

Recently, the City Council of Ieper granted planning permission for the building of a large “family house” directly opposite the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company Monument near the pedestrian entrance to the Hill 60 site. The view of Ieper, for which so many died, will be largely obscured as may be seen in RECENT NEWS Item: Hill 60 view to go? Objections to the development were lodged by concerned local residents (Save Hill 60 volunteers), the Provincial Planning Department, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Families and Friends of the First AIF (FFFAIF). Judgement on the objection to the planning permission will be made will be made by the end of April, 2010.

Photo: The view from Hill 60 towards Ypres (Ieper), December 2009 [http://www.savehill60.org/]

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