EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Fromelles Burials Begin

  • January 31st, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

fromelles-pheasant-wood.jpgThe first of the Australian and British soldiers to be re-enterred in a new cemetery at Fromelles has been laid to rest with full military honours.

The graves of 1500 hundred soldiers killed in the disastrous battle in the Summer of 1916 have never been found.

The discovery of 250 in a mass grave near the village outside Lille, in France, was followed up with a project started in 2008, to provide them with fully respectful burials.

This weekend (30.1.10) 400 people including government representatives from Australia, France and the United Kingdom attended the re-burial of the first member of the group, under the countries’ three flags.

western-front.jpgThe soldier, like his comrades in death, has not yet been identified; but a DNA project has found genetic material from more than 90% of the group, and so far 800 people related to missing soldiers from Fromelles have come forward to help with finding matches – and so names.

The names of those who are identified will be placed on their tombstones; the others will remain “known to God”.

Burial services will occur regularly during February and through to July.

A Melbourne group led by Mr Lambis Englezos, the Friends of the Fifteenth Brigade Association, first located the possible burial site, known as Pheasant Wood, and the owner of the land, Mme Marie-Paule Demassiet, donated it.

Reference

EUAustralia Online: “Australia remembers – 90 Years Ago” (10.11.08); “Bitter Memory” (7.2.08); “Australians on the Western Front” (22.4.07).

Army (Australia) -Fromelles Home, http://www.army.gov.au/fromelles/ … (31.1.10).

Pictures

Annual commemoration at Pheasant Wood 2009 (Army); troops on the Western Front.

Leave a Reply