Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Any Fromelles Centenary Commemorations July 2016?


sandymoncrieff

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum so please bear with me if I make a faux pas.

I was wondering if there are any plans for the centenary of the Battle of Fromelles next year?

My grandfather, Sergeant Alexander Moncrieff (no. 5675, later 267276), was in the 2nd/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment and captured there. He was held POW until 1918. The records I have show he was captured with a Corporal G Muir no. 5678.

If anyone is interested I have written up what I have found out about him so far. It is a 2.4MB Word (.docx) document so just about possible to email, but not place on here. I can also make it available in other formats such as .pdf if anyone wants.

If I can save anyone time, I have the regimental war diary in .pdf format and also a very detailed map of the whole area (it is a 50MB .jpg). Both of these are way too big to email but I would happily send on CD.

Best Wishes to all,

AA (Sandy) Moncrieff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Hello AA and welcome. I haven't heard of anything yet, but I would imagine the majority of the Fromelles commemoration will be Australia centred. I already know of one tour going over from Australia

Michelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply, Michelle. Yes, I'm not surprised that there would be organised Australian events. After all, it was "the worst day in Australian history":

https://www.awm.gov.au/wartime/36/article.asp

They deserve to be remembered and I've never met an Australian I didn't like. I just wondered if there were any British events too. I'm kind of thinking I might go over myself anyway, I've figured out exactly (within 100 yards anyway) where my granddad would have started from that day and it would be good to be there exactly 100 years later.

Sandy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

any updates on a commemoration for 19/7/2016?

My great uncle Leonard Twamley of 2/7th was killed at Fromelles and I carried out alot of research into his history. His mother posted a call for information in the Coventry press when he went missing and in 1917 and 1918 commemorated his passing by notices in the Coventry Herald.

I would like to be there if there is a service.

Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in Gallipoli in the summer for the Lone Pine centenary. I got the impression during talks to the members of the Australian military that there was something planned for Fromelles in 2016 - but things could have changed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Australian authorities have restricted the Fromelles centenary events to Australian passport holders only.

My grandfather, Gunner Fred Bemrose of the 61st Div RFA was killed at Fromelles on 20th July 1916. My family had planned to visit Fromelles on 19th July this year to mark his passing at the formal ceremony, but this now does not seem possible.

I have approached the CWGC on this matter and have had a less than satisfactory response from the Australian authorities via the CWGC.

It seems to me that the Australians wish to rewrite history and deny any involvement by the British 61st Div in the Battle of Fromelles.

If any one else is interested in this issue please contact me as my family feel very insulted by the unilateral behaviour of the Australian authorities.

Regards,

Mick B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Australians are perfectly entitled to organise their own commemorative event, either entirely for themselves or in conjunction with others, but I think it is more than a bit 'off' for them to commandeer the entire Fromelles district on 19 July, in particular the cemeteries. But, as some voices have been heard to say in that part of the world, 'We don't need the British; we've got the Australians'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If any one else is interested in this issue please contact me as my family feel very insulted by the unilateral behaviour of the Australian authorities.

Regards,

Mick B

Mick,

I have been aware of the Australian position for quite some time. In light of your earlier post I spoke with Peter Barton earlier. Peter was the project historian for the work at Pheasant Wood and is co-secretary for the All-Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group. He is happy for me to report that he has been made aware by certain officials in Australia that they are hoping to reverse their decision soon. One highly influential source told him it was ‘sheer idiocy and Australian imperialism’.

So, nothing definite but let us keep our fingers crossed that common-sense prevails and things change. As Mick Forsyth (Siege Gunner) alluded to in the previous post, the British Memorial Association, Fromelles have been facing this kind of attitude for quite some time.

Best wishes,

Jeremy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

That is good new Jeremy, I am hoping to be in the Fromelles area on the 19/20 July. I'm not that bothered about going to a commemorative event, I just want to be on the ground.

Michelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Below is a copy of an email I received today from the Australian Dept of Veterans Affairs.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr B

Thank you for your email about the Australian commemorative services planned at Fromelles and Pozieres in July. The Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs has the lead on planning the ceremonies and your query has been referred to me.

Fromelles and Pozieres are not international services. Most Governments have chosen to commemorate the centenary of the Somme Offensive with a single ceremony (Australia is unique in having two - Fromelles and Pozieres) with managed attendance providing a priority for their citizens. For example, the UK has a service at Thiepval, with attendance limited to UK residents. The UK Government has not chosen to hold a commemoration at Fromelles.

Due to the small site at Fromelles the number of visitors in the seated area has to be limited. The ceremonial focus will be on the Australian role in the battle and on the sacrifice of Australian soldiers. A decision has been made by the Australian Government to prioritise Australians and French in the seated area. This is not to diminish the role of other nations but simply a recognition of the Australian focus of the event we are organising.

However, I would like to reassure you that people from all nations are welcome to come to the town and view the ceremony from large screens in the location adjacent to the seated area.

I would encourage you to register on the attendance site www.anzaccentenary.gov.au. All nationalities are able to register and will be placed on a waiting list for the seated areas.

Should there be tickets remaining closer to July these will be distributed to those on the waiting list.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.

Sincerely

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems a decision has been made to prioritise French attendance over any British participation in the Fromelles commemorations. As far as I am aware, the Battle of Fromelles was a British planned attack that involved 1 British and 1 Australian Division against a number German Bavarian Divisions.

Isn't is wonderfully condescending of the writer that they cannot even bring themselves to mention the men of the British 61st Div, only to say:

'This is not to diminish the role of other nations'

We have no wish to register on the attendance site in the hope that we may be allowed to in if any seats are still available. It should be the right of British families to remember their men on 19th July and not a decision to be made by the Australian government.

As a previous post has stated, this a shocking example of 'Australian Imperialism' and an attempt to rewrite history.

I am well aware of who made the statement ''We don't need the British; we've got the Australians'. Sadly for this Australian decorated Frenchman, that does not mean the British will go away, ever.

Regards,

Mick B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...