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Pozieres village gifts 1916 bayonet to Port Adelaide in memory of fallen footballers

Matthew Agius  April 21, 2017 9:29 AM

Pozieres Remembrance bayonet - PTV The village of Pozieres has donated Port Adelaide a 1916 bayonet via the Pozieres Remembrance Association.

A BAYONET from the Pozieres battlefield has been given to Port Adelaide as a gift of thanks for the service of its footballers in the region in 1916. 

Five Port players served in Pozieres, which is located about 150km north of Paris, during one of the most significant battles of World War I involving Anzacs. 

Albert Chaplin - a member of the undefeated Port Adelaide team of 1914 - was killed in that battle. 

The gift from the village of Pozieres to the club was facilitated by the Pozieres Remembrance Association, whose head Barry Gracey and wife Yvonne Gracey-Hall are believed to be the only couple to be awarded the Legion of Honour since Napoleon began the award in 1802.

The Pozieres Remembrance Association is working to build a permanent memorial on land bought by the Graceys in Pozieres.

Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas was presented the bayonet at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

"It's very significant to our club, we have a connection to France that few clubs in Australia would have," Mr Thomas said.

"Port Adelaide's players have fought and died in France, in 2015 we returned guernseys to their gravesites over there, and our 1914 replica jumper was also given as a gift to the Franco-Australien Museum in Villers-Brettoneux.

"We're grateful to the village of Poziers and particularly the Pozieres Remembrance Association in giving this gift to Port Adelaide. 

"It's a permanent reminder of the way football clubs like ours lost so many men through service in war, and that's something we'll be commemorating at our Anzac Round games this weekend."

Port Adelaide visited the Somme Region in 2015 where it enacted a 'guernsey return' to the gravesites of fallen past players in the region.

You can help fund the Pozieres Remembrance Association's memorial construction by purchasing a commemorative paver for $50, to be installed at the memorial. Click here for more info.

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