from left to right Jean Letaille,Claude Durand,Colette Durand

We feel an overwhelming sadness at the passing of Jean LeTaille .. a compassionate and incredibly generous friend. Our thoughts are with you both and with his family. The opening of the new Museum at Bullecourt will be a lasting memorial to two wonderful people,
Jean and Denise LeTaille.Jack White Tom Guest John & Milinda Carson Brian Quick Darren Lionnet Lisa Belde

Nous sommes tristes d’avoir perdu un ami. Certes, nous savons que la mort n’est pas une absence, Mais une différence de présence, Aussi nous te demandons l’Espérance de continuer à vivre Avec cet Etre qui nous a quittés et d’avoir un jour la joie De le retrouver dans le ciel.
Stan et Deanna

We are very very sorry at the news. From your earlier emails we know he was not in good health for some years but this is a great shock to all We are thinking of you May we please send our great respect and love for Jean. He was an inspiration to Peter, me, and all Australians who entered Bullecourt under his good guidance and generous hospitality. He was a profound educator for the Australians Vale and thank you Jean, many tears and love to you both
Willys & Peter Corlett

C’est avec une profonde tristesse que nous avons appris la disparition de Jean Letaille, un grand ami de l’Australie. Non seulement il permit la construction du monument dédié aux soldats australiens tombés dans la plaine de Bullecourt en cédant un de ses terrains mais il créa un petit musée de la 1ère guerre mondiale qui agrandi et modernisé sera inauguré prochainement pour le jour de l’ANZAC. Les Australiens garderont le souvenir d’un accueil toujours chaleureux de Jean et de sa femme Denise qui ont tant fait pour la mémoire des combattants alliés.
Richard et Soizik Arundel.”

We were all very fond of Jean and will miss him even from this very long distance, in a country so far away. Jean extended to our family the most wonderful friendship and affection over many years, which as you know extended more recently well beyond us to include our children’s school community here in Australia. There will be many here who will remember Jean and Denise for many years to come.
Beverley McCrae

That is very sad news indeed. Pam and I send our condolences to you and Colette, we know you were close to Jean. It is made doubly sad by the news, published in the Melbourne paper “The Age” only yesterday, that the Museum is due to be officially reopened on Anzac Day.
Pam & David Grierson

I am so so sad. I was looking forward to seeing him again at the museum inauguration.
Kathy Laurent

its very sad but to be honest he has not been right since denise passed away , I beleive he missed her greatly.
Colin & Lisa Gillard

We are very sorry to hear the sad news of Jean Letaille’s sudden death We wish to say our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Jean will be missed but well remembered by his many friends. Regards from Pat and John Clark,

It is with great sadness that I was informed today of the passing of that great friend of ours, Jean Letaille. it was extra sad that he could not see the finished work.
Graham Fleeton

We are all only receiving the tragic news about Jean this morning. How terrible! I am shocked and saddened (and I know Elizabeth will feel the same). I know well that jean missed Denise terribly and was also in poor health, but so sad he did not see the finalisation of the museum. It is the most terribly sad news and I am lost for words.
Peter & Elisabeth Burness

We can understand how shocked you are, especially as you have worked together so closely, with Jean and his wife, creating a lasting memorial to the Australians with the Bullecourt Museum. Whenever we visited the museum Jean was always very hospitable and invited us in for a drink. He will be missed. Please give our condolences to his family.
Derek & Leonie Holgate

Je vous remercie de ces quelques heures passées avec Vous dans votre musée.Je n avais qu une douzaine d’année mais cela m’a passionné. Au revoir . Je vais vous regretter.
Maxime 17 ans Bastia

Au revoir Monsieur Letaille vous qui avait su faire partager à tous votre passion pour la Grande Guerre.Vous racontiez aussi des anecdotes qui nous faisaient revivre ces tristes moments. Je vous remercie aussi pour l Homme chaleureux que vous étiez ,de m’avoir fait découvrir un peu plus ces moments de l’Histoire que je connais si peu. Vous en parliez avec tellement de passion que je vous aurai écouté pendant des heures. Avec le moindre objet retrouvé vous racontiez ..vous saviez. Votre musée était fort intéressant. Vous laissez un grand vide. J adresse à toute votre famille et à vos amis toutes mes sincères condoléances.
Madame Pruvot-Martin Surgères 17

Jean Letaille OAM 1928-2012: Australia lost a great friend this week with the passing of a wonderful Frenchman, Monsieur Jean Letaille OAM at his home in Northern France. The former Mayor of the village of Bullecourt, France was much loved by Australians and was known to all manner of people from common folk to Prime Ministers. Jean was one of the driving forces behind the renewed remembrance of Australia’s role in the tragic Battles of Bullecourt during the Great War of 1914-1918. Alongside his beloved late wife Denise, and in concert with his dear friends Claude and Collette Durand of the neighbouring village of Hendecourt , Jean Letaille lobbied both the French and Australian Governments, created and self-funded battlefield memorials, and opened his own war memorial museum at his home in the village of Bullecourt. His museum holds a collection which is unique in the world, and is a moving tribute and a “must see” for Australian pilgrims travelling the old “Western Front”. Jean is also credited with the establishment of the first regular ANZAC Day commemorations in France. The above was certainly enough to secure a lasting legacy but Jean had the common touch. He was a truly great man. A man who was able, through personal kindness, to bridge both cultural differences and the language barrier. This simple, kind gentleman always put Australians before himself with the result that Jean’s door was always open to visiting Australian battlefield pilgrims. Nobody was a stranger in Jean’s home and nobody left Jean’s home without a kind word, a cuppa, and a biscuit. His Australian friends number in the thousands. For his life’s work in perpetuating the memory of the lives and deeds of our Diggers in his home village, Jean became one of only a small number of non-Australian citizens to receive the Medal of the Order of Australia. Nobody deserved that award more than Monsieur Jean Letaille. His loss leaves a gap which will be impossible to fill, and he will be deeply mourned by his friends and community both in France and here in Australia. Repose en Paix
Tim Whitford

Please accept our condolences - we know he was a great friend of yours. We also know how hard he worked to honour the sacrifice of the Australians at Bullecourt.
Ian & Deborah Coffey

Sad and tragic. I remember Jean with great affection. This must be a great loss to you and Colette as I know you were friends for many years. Please pass my sincere condolance and respects to Jean’s family.
Ian Watson

A big hearted person who will be missed.
Randall and Yvonne Kingsley

Always so very sad when this happens. Thank you for letting me know, I appreciate it. My sincere sympathies to you all. Love .
Dr Lorraine Connell.

We are very, very saddened and extend our condolences to all the people close to you in the vicinity of Bullecourt. Sincerely,
Richard and Soizik Arundel

Je tiens à vous présenter toutes mes condoléances à l’occasion du deuil qui vous touche personnellement. Combien triste fut ma journée, en apprenant la nouvelle ! La nuit n’est jamais complète Il y a puisque je le dis Puisque je l’affirme Au bout du chagrin Une fenêtre ouverte Une fenêtre éclairée Il y a toujours un rêve qui veille Désir à combler, faim à satisfaire Un cœur généreux Une main tendue, une main ouverte Des yeux attentifs Une vie, la vie à se partager. Paul ELUARD Que ces quelques vers puissent vous aider à passer ces moments difficiles. La peine se partage difficilement mais sachez que je suis de tout cœur avec vous. Sincères Amitiés,
Carole Laigniel

Yesterday there was a paragraph in the Age about the opening of the Museum.I had visitors here and I told them about what Jean was doing and actually showed them a photo of him.So he was very much in my thoughts. I cut it out to send to you and will do so . .You and Colette have been such good friends to Jean over a long period of time. We send you our sincere sympathy and will keep you all in our prayers.
Kevin & Margaret Murray

Tous les amis à qui j’ai transmis la triste nouvelle étaient bien sûr choques. Tous espèrent, que Jean aie pu retrouver sa Denise bien-aimée
Anny De Decker

I’d like to send my condolences to you and everyone on the sad passing of Jean Letaille.
Glen Phillips

I am really distressed even though I had only been with him three times and I felt he was a dear friend. His legacy will never be forgotten as he did such wonderful work for all those Anzacs and other Allies who fought in the battles there. I join you in grief and will await any further infrmation. A very sad day indeed. He must have felt that all he was going through was just to much and his dream for his Museum was realised. He was lonely, in pain and wanted to join Denise as he told Steve when we were last together. In mourning with you all Margaret,
Steve and Beacky. Margaret Clarke

Both Lyn and I are very saddened to hear of Jean’s passing. I know that he was your very good friend and I offer both you and Colette my sincere condolences
John & Lynn Fielding

We are heartbroken to hear that Jean has gone, we will miss him so much. His love and massive contribution will never be forgotten. Would you please place flowers at his funeral from our Family. Thank you for letting us know but our return to France this year will be with a very sad heart. The re-opening of the Museum will be a day of remembrance, for both Jean and Denise.
Peter and Ellen Norton

Comme chez des centaines d’Australiens, Jean nous a touchés au cœur, et nous nous sentons privilégiés de l’avoir connu. Il est maintenant avec sa chère Denise et sans douleur.
Prudence Cowan & Graeme Hillier

He was a fine and kindly man and we remember him with affection. Would you please pass on our condolences to his family and friends.
Less & Denise Carlyon

Sit here in my kitchen and cannot believe the news. I am so sad, also. A very unique man.
Dean Evans

I think that Jean would be pleased to know that there will be at least one young Australian present on this day to say goodbye to him. He and Denise helped so many people from Australia to farewell so many other Australians who also ended their days in Bullecourt long ago that Ian being present for this last goodbye, representing both our family and our country, will be a very special privilege.
Beverley MCCrae

I know Jean was a highly-valued, true and sincere friend to you. While my condolences go to Jean’s family, my sympathies are with you at this time. I am glad to have met Jean and to have been in his company, if only for a few moments in time. I had the feeling when I escorted him from your home to his car - last Anzac Day - that I would not see him again. A real patriot of France; an enduring and compelling friend of Australia.
John Arundel