Vale Claude Durand
Today I was informed of the death of a long time friend Claude Durand. Claude was a retired school teacher in the French village of Hendecourt where he took an abiding interest in the Battle of Bullecourt which was situated virtually on the town’s doorstep. I first made my acquaintance with Claude in 1984 when I wrote to him after seeing an article about him in the Age newspaper. At the time Claude had expressed an interest in translating the writings about the battle by war historian C. E. W. Bean. We tossed around the idea of pairing Bullecourt and Emerald as sister towns, an idea that never found fruition. I found I was only one of hundreds of Australians to whom Claude had extended his welcoming hand….