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Remembered Today:

Fromelles Visitors' Centre


Simon_Fielding

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Sad to see that the map in the visitors' centre misses off the regimental names of the 61st Div units. I know that it isn't a British focus, but there are plenty of 61st Div graves at Laventie and I felt that these men deserve their unit names.

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The senior member of staff there told me that the British authorities (he mentioned the MOD but I'm not sure if that would have been the case) had been invited to submit artefacts/information, etc., in a special British section of the museum but they had declined.

Bob

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That's really regrettable... Perhaps they should ask the appropriate regimental museums?

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I agree Simon, but even if the regimental museums wanted to co-operate, short of removing some Australian artefacts, there isn't any more room.

Bob

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I was told that the MoD was approached for participation in the content of the Fromelles facility.

I was told that they were asked twice by email and, remained silent on the subject. I was told that MoD were responding to all other communications on other subjects, before, during and, after the two emails mentioned.

I was told this by the person within the Australian Gov. that drafted and, sent the emails. His emails on all other subjects were being responded to in a timely manner.

I received this information in response to my questions to him about my disappointment re the lack of full recognition of the British participation in that area.

I suspect it is now too late for the Regimental Museums to make their own wishes known.

So many died, so many suffered, it is just not fair that one group gets the exposure.

Peter

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It's an Australian story for sure, and what's there is very moving and well done; but 61st Division are neglected. How could it be put right?

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In the seven years I was guiding on the Front and every time, without exception, I told my Australian Tour Guests, to the best of my knowledge, of the Battle of Aubers Ridge and, the 61st South Midland Division involvement. You cannot speak about the Fromelles area without talking about everyone that was there!!!!!

I also always mentioned James Mackenzie VC (Scots Guards). I suspect that the VC Corner Cemetery may have been named after him, Why? He went missing on or about the nearby corner (Rouges Blanc) whilst recovering wounded from the battlefield. His name is on the Ploegsteert Memorial. Right opposite Claude's and Nellie's lovely little restaurant.

I wish you Good Luck with your endeavours.

Peter

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Sorry to miss your reply to this Mark: there's no mention that I could see... as I say there's no desire to trespass on the Australian story but seems a number of factors have conspired to make 61st division's participation in this action very understated.

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Big story (and accompanying leader) in 'The Times' today about the alleged exclusion of the relatives of British fallen from the forthcoming centenary commemorations.

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