Albert Back to Search

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Albert is almost at the centre of that part of the Somme in which Australians iserved during WW1.  

Its Cathedral,  now rebuilt following its virtual destruction during the Great War,  was one of the iconic sights to soldiers in the vicinity, because of the spectacular gold statue that stands atop its steeple, visible for miles around.   The statue is of the Virgin Mary which had been dislodged to the horizontal as a result of German shellfire. To the Australian soldiers it looked like a female diver, and legend among the Australian troops was that "Fanny Durack" as they called the statue,  after an Australian Olympic diver, would fall if the Germans were about to win the war. 'She' remained there until the cathedral was repaired after the war.

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