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The Diggers' Violin

Roy Longstaff's Violin
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The Diggers' Violin

Life in the trenches and at camp could be dull and boring between stints of combat. Soldiers needed ways to entertain themselves, boost morale and let go of some of the stress. One enterprising man, George Patrick Hanna, set up a band he called The Diggers with himself as director, main writer and chief performer.

The band reformed after the war to play for a Returned Soldiers Association fundraiser. They continued touring into the 1930s, when movies started to become more popular than live shows. They were known by several names including the New Zealand Pierrots, The Diggers, and Pat Hanna's Famous Diggers.

This violin belonged to Roy Longstaff who etched all the concert stops between 1917 and 1919 on the back underneath his name.

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