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Remembered Today:

The Australian Somme Casulaties are buried where ?


gerb

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I believe that the Australian Forces suffered as many casualties in Pozieres and Moquet Farm during the battle of the Somme as they did in Gallipoli, is this a myth ?. Pozieres is the site of the Australian 1 & 2 Division Memorials, but where have the casualties from these battles been buried. ?

regards

gerb

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I am sure those more learned than I will give specifics, but the dates on the graves in Pozieres, Courcelette, Delville Wood, Gordon Dump, Serre Road No2, AIF Burial Ground Flers, Contalmaison Chateau & the two Sunken Road ones for starters.

Those who died of wounds buried in Heilly Station, Puchevillers, Dernancourt, Contay, Warloy-Baillon, St Sever Rouen.

The list is endless.....................

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Gerb

In answer to your first question, the AIF had more than 23,000 casualties in a period of six weeks from 23 July to about 5 September 1916 in the actions around Pozieres, which included the Windmill and the ridge towards Mouquet Farm. The Australian War Memorial records 26,111 casualties over the Gallipoli campaign of which 8141 were deaths. These figures vary depending on sources, but the bottom line is that the 1916 Somme actions were almost as costly as the Gallipoli campaign, which was fought over an eight month period.

As to the burial of Australian casualties, see this link to war cemeteries in France. It provides total figures for Australian burials and links to the CWGC site.

I hope this assists.

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Gerb

In answer to your first question, the AIF had more than 23,000 casualties in a period of six weeks from 23 July to about 5 September 1916 in the actions around Pozieres, which included the Windmill and the ridge towards Mouquet Farm. The Australian War Memorial records 26,111 casualties over the Gallipoli campaign of which 8141 were deaths. These figures vary depending on sources, but the bottom line is that the 1916 Somme actions were almost as costly as the Gallipoli campaign, which was fought over an eight month period.

As to the burial of Australian casualties, see this link to war cemeteries in France. It provides total figures for Australian burials and links to the CWGC site.

I hope this assists.

"I am sure those more learned than I will give specifics"

QED

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The OAWG list is incorrect. For instance my uncle is buried in Nine Elms and there is no mention of this cemetery. There is another Australian buried in Scotland, he is not mentioned either.

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The OAWG list is incorrect. For instance my uncle is buried in Nine Elms and there is no mention of this cemetery. There is another Australian buried in Scotland, he is not mentioned either.

Sandra, Nine Elms is in Belgium but in any case the lists only show cemeteries with over 200 Australian casualties.

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Peter,

There is a Nine Elms Cemetery in Thelus, France. this is near Arras and could be the cemetery to which Sandra refers

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I am sure those more learned than I will give specifics, but the dates on the graves in Pozieres, Courcelette, Delville Wood, Gordon Dump, Serre Road No2, AIF Burial Ground Flers, Contalmaison Chateau & the two Sunken Road ones for starters.

Those who died of wounds buried in Heilly Station, Puchevillers, Dernancourt, Contay, Warloy-Baillon, St Sever Rouen.

The list is endless.....................

Perhaps my question should have been more specific. Considering the importance and size of the Australian sacrifice in the Pozieres area, why were Australian casualties not concentrated or another take on the same question, why were Australian casualties dispersed into so many graveyards, when they all occurred in a relatively small area?

PS thanks for the replies to date

gerb

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Peter,

There is a Nine Elms Cemetery in Thelus, France. this is near Arras and could be the cemetery to which Sandra refers

Anthony

There are no Aussies buried in Nine Elms, Thelus to my knowledge.

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I should clarify that the list provided in my link to the OAWG site, is not comprehensive. For instance, Sunken Road Cemetery at Contalmaison, which contains 60 AIF burials and memorial headstones, is a notable omission.

Peter is correct in identifying that the list only mentions cemeteries with over 200 Australian burials. It should also be noted that the list goes beyond the Somme region.

Of course, if the original question is treated literally, then one should also include cemeteries outside of France which contain those AIF men who died from wounds received in the 1916 Somme battles. It goes on and on.

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I should clarify that the list provided in my link to the OAWG site, is not comprehensive. For instance, Sunken Road Cemetery at Contalmaison, which contains 60 AIF burials and memorial headstones, is a notable omission.

Peter is correct in identifying that the list only mentions cemeteries with over 200 Australian burials. It should also be noted that the list goes beyond the Somme region.

Of course, if the original question is treated literally, then one should also include cemeteries outside of France which contain those AIF men who died from wounds received in the 1916 Somme battles. It goes on and on.

Ceebee,

Thanks for your repy. Having looked at the link you provided, most of the larger cemtries listed post date the actions around Poziers by months, I have always wondered why Australian casulaties from Jul Aug '16 were in so many different cemeteries.

regards

gerb

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Perhaps my question should have been more specific. Considering the importance and size of the Australian sacrifice in the Pozieres area, why were Australian casualties not concentrated or another take on the same question, why were Australian casualties dispersed into so many graveyards, when they all occurred in a relatively small area?

PS thanks for the replies to date

gerb

Australians would have been buried in the same way as all other troops who lost their lives in the fighting. There was no policy of burying different nationalities in their own cemeteries. Are you suggesting that Australians were deliberately spread around or that their dead were treated in some special way because they were Australian?

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Australians would have been buried in the same way as all other troops who lost their lives in the fighting. There was no policy of burying different nationalities in their own cemeteries. Are you suggesting that Australians were deliberately spread around or that their dead were treated in some special way because they were Australian?

truthergw,

Thanks for the reply, I have no agenda with this thread, am I am not making any suggestion about how the Australian or any other nationality were treated, but considering the number of Australian casualties over such a relatively short period of time, in such a small area, it would not be unreasonable to find a large number in a particular cemetery. As this is not the case, and there is such a large cemetery in Pozieres, I beleive it is reasonable to question why.

regards

gerb

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gerb

AIF casualties for July and August 1916 can be found in a number of the cemeteries listed in my link. See for instance Courcellette, Flers, Heilly Station, Serre Road No. 2 and Pozieres British Cemetery. I also mentioned Sunken Road Cemetery Contalmaison, which has a high proportion of AIF burials for these months.

It would be interesting to plot the cemeteries over a map of the area in which the AIF operated in the period to see relationships. This might help with your questions. You also need to take into account the high number of men who have no grave and are commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

Regards

Chris

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Hi gerb,

The stats regularly used about the early AIF fighting in France are generally 'the Australians lost almost as many men in six weeks at Pozieres as they did in eight months at Gallipoli', or 'the Australians lost more men in their first two battles in France (Fromelles and Pozieres) as they did in eight months at Gallipoli'.

In answer to your question about why the Aussies are so spread out, there is no simple one.

The Pozieres fighting occured over six weeks and involved tens of thousands of men, all split into different units. It was also part of the much larger Battle of the Somme, which involved hundreds of thousands of troops. There were often considerable differences about how the dead and wounded were dealt with between different units and different actions, so that alone will begin to explain why the graves are spread between different cemeteries. For example, in late July the 1st Division may have allocated XYZ location for the burial of dead, whereas the 4th Division on August 11 may have allocated an area many kilometres away. In addition, many men would be buried in the field, near to where they fell, or died of wounds at a range of CCSs or RAPs behind the line. At any given stage in the fighting, men who had been wounded (and would later die of their wounds) would be spread all the way from the front line at Pozieres back to England.

Probably the biggest factor though is the fact that most of the bodies were allocated to cemeteries after the Armistice. Huge numbers of these were found individually or in small groups on the former battlefield, many were in small battlefield cemeteries that were closed, a large number of bodies had not been buried at all and were gathered together and reburied, etc, etc. The point is, with so many bodies to deal with over such a large area, it would be almost impossible (and not worth the effort) to collect all the Australians in one place. Additionally, each grave unit that cleared a specific area would be operating under its own instructions - all bodies from area X to be buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, all bodies from area Y to be buried at Gordon Dump, etc.

As has also been mentioned, the large number of names on the VB memorial from the Pozieres fighting indicate that many men were killed in circumstances where an orderly burial was impossible.

There's countless reasons why the dead of Pozieres would be spread out, so I hope this gives you an indication.

Cheers,

Mat

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Sorry Peter ... I didn't explain myself properly ... yes ... Nine Elms in in France ... but what I was meaning was that he was not listed in Belgium either.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

PS:

I still botched it :(

HE IS IN BELGIUM NINE ELMS!!!!!

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Sorry Peter ... I didn't explain myself properly ... yes ... Nine Elms in in France ... but what I was meaning was that he was not listed in Belgium either.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

Sandra, what was your uncle's name and service number ?

Peter

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Harold George Day 2809 he is at Nine Elms, my two cousins are buried in other cemeteries. A very wonderful friend took the photos for me a couple of years ago.

Uncle Harold gets visited regularly by friends of mine overseas ... I think our own Victoria was the last one :)

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Hi gerb,

The stats regularly used about the early AIF fighting in France are generally 'the Australians lost almost as many men in six weeks at Pozieres as they did in eight months at Gallipoli', or 'the Australians lost more men in their first two battles in France (Fromelles and Pozieres) as they did in eight months at Gallipoli'.

In answer to your question about why the Aussies are so spread out, there is no simple one.

The Pozieres fighting occured over six weeks and involved tens of thousands of men, all split into different units. It was also part of the much larger Battle of the Somme, which involved hundreds of thousands of troops. There were often considerable differences about how the dead and wounded were dealt with between different units and different actions, so that alone will begin to explain why the graves are spread between different cemeteries. For example, in late July the 1st Division may have allocated XYZ location for the burial of dead, whereas the 4th Division on August 11 may have allocated an area many kilometres away. In addition, many men would be buried in the field, near to where they fell, or died of wounds at a range of CCSs or RAPs behind the line. At any given stage in the fighting, men who had been wounded (and would later die of their wounds) would be spread all the way from the front line at Pozieres back to England.

Probably the biggest factor though is the fact that most of the bodies were allocated to cemeteries after the Armistice. Huge numbers of these were found individually or in small groups on the former battlefield, many were in small battlefield cemeteries that were closed, a large number of bodies had not been buried at all and were gathered together and reburied, etc, etc. The point is, with so many bodies to deal with over such a large area, it would be almost impossible (and not worth the effort) to collect all the Australians in one place. Additionally, each grave unit that cleared a specific area would be operating under its own instructions - all bodies from area X to be buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, all bodies from area Y to be buried at Gordon Dump, etc.

As has also been mentioned, the large number of names on the VB memorial from the Pozieres fighting indicate that many men were killed in circumstances where an orderly burial was impossible.

There's countless reasons why the dead of Pozieres would be spread out, so I hope this gives you an indication.

Cheers,

Mat

thanks

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Harold George Day 2809 he is at Nine Elms, my two cousins are buried in other cemeteries. A very wonderful friend took the photos for me a couple of years ago.

Uncle Harold gets visited regularly by friends of mine overseas ... I think our own Victoria was the last one :)

Sandra, he is in the Belgian Nine Elms !

Name: DAY, HAROLD GEORGE

Initials: H G

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

Unit Text: 44th Bn.

Date of Death: 04/10/1917

Service No: 2809

Additional information: Son of Daniel and Agnes Day. Born Western Australia.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. D. 7.

Cemetery: NINE ELMS BRITISH CEMETERY

I photographed all 150 Aussies there in October last year when I went over for the re-internments at Polygon Wood (Buttes)

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Yes :( I knew that Peter!!

:o

blonde seniors moment!

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