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The Same Silhouette.
The Same Silhouette. 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 9 March 1933, page 2

The Same Silhouette.

The recent visit of the Australian champion swimmer, Miss Edna Davey, calls to mind the genius of the digger in the matter of nomenclature. Before and during the war years Miss Fanny Durack was a well-known swimming champion. She hailed from New South Wales.

Walking up the street in Albert, France, one day, a digger asked another Australian to direct him to a certain building. "Keep straight on, Dig," he replied. "Just past Fanny Durack.

The suggested landmark did not seem to be a particularly likely one, but the digger kept on and presently came in sight of the famous leaning virgin on the top of the wrecked tower of the church. The suggestion, was unmistakable; it was certainly reminiscent of a lady about to; do a high dive. This was the New South Wales digger's "Fanny Durack."

Those in the story:

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Edna Davey = Edna Davey (1911 - ) Swam 400m at the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928.

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Fanny Durack = Sarah Frances "Fanny" Durack (27 October 1889 – 20 March 1956) was an Australian swimmer. From 1910 until 1918 she was the world's greatest female swimmer of all distances from freestyle sprints to the mile marathon.

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the famous leaning virgin = During the early days of the war German artillery had shelled the Basilica, trying to knock it down and prevent the French artillery spotters from using it. They had only succeeded in dislodging the statue of Mary, which by 1916 hung at a precarious angle just below the horizontal. This was just too visible and too heavenly-connected for the soldiers passing through the town. The Legend of the Leaning [or Hanging] Virgin was born. The British rendition was that whoever knocked her down would lose the war, the Germans apparently believing the opposite. Another version of the legend had it that the fall of the Virgin would signal the end of the war. The details of the various versions seem secondary to the belief by troops of all sides that the Virgin's natural descent was halted temporarily by a Divine Hand so its final destruction could mark the War's end.