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Remembered Today:

Fromelles16: July 19th events


velo350
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Hello All,

for those interested, here is the text of a speech delivered on June 13 by Mr Hubert Huchette, Mayor of Fromelles.

very friendly

Michel

"Mesdames, Messieurs, Chers amis,

Voilà bientôt six ans que Monsieur Lambis ENGLESOS m’a informé de ses

recherches sur le devenir des soldats australiens et britanniques au lendemain de la

Bataille de Fromelles.

Je le prie de bien vouloir m’excuser d’avoir dû le faire patienter. J’admire sa ténacité, son

courage, sa passion. Lambis, tu avais raison depuis le début. Je te rends hommage. Tu as

tiré de l’oubli ceux qui étaient portés disparus depuis le 20 juillet 1916. Comme le Sergent

FRASER, tu as ramené parmi les tiens ceux qui ne pouvaient plus crier :

‘’Ne m’oublie pas’’ Quel beau travail de mémoire, tu as accompli !

En mai 2007 et depuis 3 semaines, j’ai pu apprécier le professionnalisme de toute l’équipe

de la GUARD. Bravo à tous pour votre compétence et le respect avec lequel vous avez

cherché ces corps enfouis depuis 92 ans. Félicitations Monsieur POLLARD, félicitations à

votre équipe.

Toute mon admiration à vous les Australiens et les Britanniques que j’ai croisés à

Fromelles en raison des évènements récents.

Merci de l’attention que vous avez portée à mon égard, aux élus et aux Fromellois.

J’ai beaucoup apprécié de collaborer avec vous Mon Colonel, avec toi Sam.

J’ai été impressionné par votre rigueur et votre force Général O’BRIEN.

Merci Martial pour ton courage, ta passion. Tu es le plus australien et le plus

britannique des Fromellois.

Merci à toute l’équipe de FWTM (ASBF).

Merci Francis et Jean-Claude pour votre engagement au service du souvenir.

Merci Pierre, Merci Rémy pour votre aide quasi quotidienne ces 3 semaines dernières.

Merci à la CCW qui nous a toujours soutenus.

Merci à Madame DESMASSIET, à sa famille d’avoir non seulement permis ces recherches

mais de vous être plus qu’intéressés à ces fouilles.

Merci à Monsieur DESRUELLES d’avoir compris l’importance de ce projet.

Lieutenant FLIPPE ma gratitude à la gendarmerie pour le soutien et l’attention donnés

pour la sécurité du site de fouilles.

Je n’oublie pas l’armée et l’aide apportée avec les tentes Merci Général MONTFORT.

Je n’oublie pas la Préfecture et son représentant Monsieur SCIOTTI ainsi qu’à l’équipe de

la DRAC.

Enfin merci aux Fromellois, je suis fier de votre compréhension,de votre intérêt, du respect

que vous montrez à l’occasion de ces recherches.

Merci à toute mon équipe municipale, employés comme élus pour votre aide et votre

collaboration.

La France a une dette éternelle envers tous ses alliés, envers ceux qui sont tombés sur notre

sol pour nous permettre de retrouver la liberté.

Nous éprouvons beaucoup d’émotion et d’étonnement pour ces évènements des 19 et 20

juillet 1916, beaucoup de respect pour ces combattants venus de Grande Bretagne et

d’Australie. Cette émotion a été ravivée par ces recherches. Nous avons été les témoins

d’un magnifique travail de mémoire.

Nous ne les oublierons pas. Lest we forget.

Fromelles terre de combats devient chaque jour un peu plus terre d’amitié,de fraternité, de

rencontres.

Hubert HUCHETTE

Maire de Fromelles."

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Goodie Ta Michel ... I don't read or speak French :P although I did get the gist of some of the words and have an idea that there were a lot of thank you's etc.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Hi Sandra, Here is the tranlation via Babel. Peter

" Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends, Here are soon six years that Mr Lambis ENGLESOS informed me of its research on becoming to it Australian and British soldiers the shortly after Battle of Fromelles. I request it to agree to excuse me to have had to make it have patience. I admire his tenacity, his courage, his passion. Lambis, you were right since the beginning. I pay homage to you. You have drawn from the lapse of memory those which were reported missing since July 20, 1916. Like Sergeant FRASER, you brought back among hold those which could not shout any more: `'does not forget me pas' 'What a beautiful memory work, you achieved! In May 2007 and for 3 weeks, I have been able to appreciate the professionalism of all the team of the GUARD. Cheer with all for your competence and the respect with which you have sought these bodies hidden since 92 years. Congratulations Mr POLLARD, congratulations with your team. All my admiration with you the Australian ones and the British whom I crossed with Fromelles because of the recent events. Thank you for the attention which you paid in my connection, the elected officials and Fromellois. I appreciated much to collaborate with you My Colonel, with you Sam. I was impressed by your rigour and your force Général O' BRIEN. Thank you Martial for your courage, your passion. You are most Australian and more British of Fromellois. Thank you with all the team for FWTM (ASBF). Thank you Francis and Jean-Claude for your engagement with the service for the memory. Thank you Pierre, Thank you Rémy for your quasi daily assistance these 3 last weeks. Thank you with the CCW which always supported us. Thank you with Mrs DESMASSIET, her family to have not only allowed this research but to be to you more than interested in these excavations. Thank you with Mr DESRUELLES to have included/understood importance of this project. Lieutenant FLIPPE my gratitude with the gendarmerie for the support and the attention given for the safety of the site of excavations. I do not forget the army and the assistance brought with the tents Merci General MONTFORT. I do not forget the Prefecture and his representative Mr SCIOTTI like with the team of the DRAC. Finally thank you in Fromellois, I am proud of your comprehension, your interest, the respect which you show at the time of this research. Thank you with all my municipal team, employed like elected officials for your assistance and your collaboration. France has an eternal debt towards all its allies, towards those which fell on our ground to enable us to find freedom. We test much emotion and astonishment for these events of 19 and July 20, 1916, much of respect for these combatants from the United Kingdom and from Australia. This emotion was revived by this research. We were the witnesses of a splendid memory work. We will not forget them. Ballast we forget. Fromelles ground of engagements becomes each day a little more ground of friendship, fraternity, meetings.

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Goodie Ta Michel ... I don't read or speak French :P although I did get the gist of some of the words and have an idea that there were a lot of thank you's etc.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

Hello Dear Sandra,

I tried to make a correct translation of the speech by Mr Huchette (with the help of the translator Google).

Hoping it's not too wrong...

très affectueusement

Michel

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

This is almost six years since Mr Lambis ENGLESOS informed me of his

research on the fate of Australian and British soldiers after the

Battle of Fromelles.

I ask him to apologize for having to wait to do so. I admire his tenacity, his

courage, his passion. Lambis, because you were right from the beginning. I salute you. You

for not forgetting those who were missing since July 20, 1916. As Sergeant

FRASER, you want reduced among those who could no longer shout:

Remember me''''What a beautiful work of memory, you have done!

In May 2007, and for 3 weeks, I was able to appreciate the professionalism of the whole team

the GUARD. Congratulations to all for your competence and respect with which you

sought since the body buried 92 years. Congratulations Mr POLLARD, congratulations to

your team.

All my admiration to you Australians and Britons as I crossed

Fromelles because of recent events.

Thank you for the attention you brought to me, the elected and Fromellois.

I greatly appreciated working with you My Colonel, with you Saturday

I have been impressed by your discipline and your strength General O'BRIEN.

Martial Thank you for your courage, your passion. You are the best and most Australian

British Fromellois.

Thanks to all team FWTM (ASBF).

Thanks Francis and Jean-Claude for your commitment to the service of remembrance.

Thanks Pierre, Remy Thank you for your help almost daily these last 3 weeks.

Thanks to the CCW, which has always supported.

Thanks to Madam DESMASSIET, his family have not only allowed this research

but you be more qu'intéressés these excavations.

Thanks to Mr DESRUELLES that he understood the importance of this project.

Lieutenant FLIPPE my gratitude to the gendarmerie for the support and attention given

for the safety of site excavation.

I do not forget the army and helping with tents General MONTFORT Thank you.

I do not forget the Prefecture and his deputy Mr. SCIOTTI and team

DRAC.

Finally the Fromellois thank you, I am proud of your understanding, your interest, respect

you show during these searches.

Thanks to my team any municipal employees elected for your help and

collaboration.

France has an eternal debt to all its allies, to those who have fallen on our

ground to allow us to regain freedom.

We have a lot of emotion and surprise to the events of 19 and 20

July 1916, a lot of respect for these fighters from Great Britain and

Australia. This emotion was revived by this research. We were witnesses

a magnificent work of memory.

We will not forget them. Lest we forget.

Fromelles land battles each day becomes a little more mundane friendship, brotherhood,

meetings.

Hubert HUCHETTE

Mayor of Fromelles. "

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Hi Irishmen,

vous avez été plus rapide que moi...

very friendly

Michel

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Thank you both ... I was on the right track :)

Reading that ... I somehow think I need to consider going to Fromelles sometime.

Researching the families of these boys, reading the letters, following their family history to their deaths is proving to be a rewarding and emotional experience. It is an honour to come to know them as I do.

Lest We Forget!

Sandra

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Have just got back from there....Met the immortal Lambis Englezos!!! and Patrick Lindsay, who wrote "Fromelles"!!! Walked the sugarloaf salient with them. Of course they were there for the famous archeological dig.....but would you believe, when I went back there 3 days after the memorial on the Thursday afternoon, the farmer HAD ALREADY ploughed the opened pits over!!!! Have pics!!! All that remained was an 8" shell, and the flowers, which had been placed beside the field....

a link....for anybody interested

http://homepage.mac.com/vnurcombe/PhotoAlbum48.html

its an amazing place, but without a GPS with the trenchlines overlaid, you become disorientated very quickly....one of the most confusing battlefields outside of gettysburg.

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I don't think the farmer ploughed the paddock :)

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Tim, I met you 2 weeks ago at Fromelles, and you were nice enough to walk us out to Sugarloaf, after re-orientating us with that brilliant german map. Have a nice picture of you, if you'd like it. Thanks again - you were brilliant

I don't think the farmer ploughed the paddock :)

admit, it was an assumption on my part......the ploughing was quite a deal bigger than the archeological dig site though....and it was surrounded by fields of wheat...just made an assumption!!!

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Madame said that they never used the paddock because nothing would grow there :)

I suspect that the workers responsible just levelled it all off again and made it look neat and tidy.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Tim, I met you 2 weeks ago at Fromelles, and you were nice enough to walk us out to Sugarloaf, after re-orientating us with that brilliant german map. Have a nice picture of you, if you'd like it. Thanks again - you were brilliant

I don't think the farmer ploughed the paddock :)

admit, it was an assumption on my part......the ploughing was quite a deal bigger than the archeological dig site though....and it was surrounded by fields of wheat...just made an assumption!!!

Great to catch up with you again! I remember you and the two lovely ladies fondly. The Fromelles Battlefield really is an eye-opener isn't it. I'd love a copy of the photo. That's very thoughtful.

There was no farmer ploughing. The dig site was backfilled and flattened as part of the original agreement. It was also re-seeded with grass. There are a range of both active and passive security measures in place there now.

Cheerio,

Tim Whitford

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Great to catch up with you again! I remember you and the two lovely ladies fondly. The Fromelles Battlefield really is an eye-opener isn't it. I'd love a copy of the photo. That's very thoughtful.

Tim, I have put a few pics up at this website....and yes, the two lovely ladies and myself got instantly addicted to the whole battlefield...and eventually GPSed the whole sugarloaf, which altered its position over the years we noticed.......Terribly sorry I'd forgotten your name by the time I got round to putting the pictures up....click on your thumbnail, it blows up to something you can download with a right-click.....you had invited us back to the archeological site, but we spent so much time getting ourselves oriented to the battlefield, it was 10 o'clock by the time we got to the church!!! Only person left at the site was a guard with a very growly dog!! A small shame.....I was a professional anatomist, and have taken part in excavations before. Would have been interesting to have been a witness to such an important event. And thankyou for the moving descriptions.....I am honoured to have met you, have such respect for what you've been doing.

There was no farmer ploughing. The dig site was backfilled and flattened as part of the original agreement. It was also re-seeded with grass. There are a range of both active and passive security measures in place there now.

Well, it was a very thorough job....!!! One would never have known there was anything there.........sad, but very peaceful, on the night we visited.

Very best regards, Vic (Grandfather 7849, 15th Battalion)

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Victoria ... would you do me the honour of putting a poppy there from me ... tell the boys I am working hard and learning a great deal about their family and their lives ...

It would be a pleasure. I was going to suggest that, if anyone has a spare poppy cross at home which they would like me to lay on their behalf, let me know and I’ll PM my address details through. I shall be leaving for France on the morning of Friday 18th, so they would need to be here by the Thursday. The commemoration at Fromelles will begin at 4.45 p.m. at the Australian Memorial Park. We will then proceed to VC Corner and then onto Pheasant Wood. I think that the intention is to lay wreaths etc at both of the last two venues. I shall be laying a wreath at VC Corner on behalf of the British families and I have been asked to lay another wreath, on behalf of the Association, at Pheasant Wood. If anyone is going to send poppy crosses through to me, would they be kind enough to specify where they would like them to be placed?

V.

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and back to fromelles a second time in June.......pheasant wood.....

http://homepage.mac.com/vnurcombe/PhotoAlbum50.html

and back to fromelles a second time in June.......pheasant wood.....

http://homepage.mac.com/vnurcombe/PhotoAlbum50.html

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Have a look at this post http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...=101669&hl= which says "Just been sent this email from a friend in Ieper-

''From the Five Australians, being found in 2006 and buried on the 4th October 2007 at Buttes New British Cemetry, two of them were identified, Sergeant George Calder and Private John Hunter. Many of you visited their graves with me. I just received the news that another of these soldiers has been identified by DNA. Unfourtunately we can not give you his name yet as the family is still not informed. From the moment we are allowed we will give you all details.''

I wonder who he was/is.

Regards,

Stewart"

That is fantastic news and therefore there is absolutely no reason why all the bodies at Pheasant Wood should not be reburied and attempted to be identified. I have said in previous posts that Pheasant Wood could become an "inconvenience of numbers" and that governments take the easy option.

Incidentally I'm coming down to Melbourne from Brisbane for the Fromelles ceremonies next week - will any cobbers from this forum be there? Do we have a time and place where Lambis will be giving his talk on Pheasant Wood?

Len

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Not me Len ... I am in WA :mellow:

Yanno ... over there <<<<< ... in the remote part of the world ... <<<<< :mellow:

:(

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I just received the news that another of these soldiers has been identified by DNA. .''

That is fantastic news and therefore there is absolutely no reason why all the bodies at Pheasant Wood should not be reburied and attempted to be identified. I have said in previous posts that Pheasant Wood could become an "inconvenience of numbers" and that governments take the easy option.

Len

Quite agree. What's has been done for these men should be done for the Fromelles men.

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Len there will be a couple of GWF members there.

Send me a PM before you leave and in the mean time I'll try and organise a hook up point.

Cheers

Kim

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  • 2 weeks later...

From todays Melbourne "The Age" newspaper.

Fromelles records revealed

  • Ross McMullin
  • July 19, 2008
REMARKABLY rich German records relating to the disastrous Australian attack at Fromelles in 1916 are providing fresh insights into the catastrophe.

The battle, which began 92 years ago today and led to 5533 Australian casualties in one night, was the worst 24 hours in Australian history.

Major-General Mike O'Brien, in charge of the recent archaeological dig at Fromelles, said the archival material came to light after he asked German authorities to make an exhaustive search for records relating to the battle. As well as records of German units and details of their counter-attacks at Fromelles, the material — found in Munich — includes photographs, maps, information about prisoners, and transcripts of interviews with captured Australians.

General O'Brien said it reveals that senior German commanders rejected — as did the Australian divisional commander and his British superiors — the proposal of a battlefield truce to allow the wounded to be rescued. He was speaking at the Shrine of Remembrance, where Premier John Brumby and the Mayor of Fromelles, Hubert Huchette, will unveil the sculpture Cobbers today at 11am.

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"General O'Brien said it reveals that senior German commanders rejected — as did the Australian divisional commander and his British superiors — the proposal of a battlefield truce to allow the wounded to be rescued. He was speaking at the Shrine of Remembrance, where Premier John Brumby and the Mayor of Fromelles, Hubert Huchette, will unveil the sculpture Cobbers today at 11am."

Lord! How much suffering and how many lives could have been saved ...

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The three combined services at Fromelles last Saturday went beautifully, although at times we struggled to keep upright in what was probably the windiest weather that Fromelles has seen for some time. In the absence of Martial Delebarre, the lovely Jean-Marie Bailleul (Vice-President of the FWTM) led the services.

We were in the company of, amongst others, David Ritchie (the Australian Ambassador to France), Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Chairman of the All Party War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group), Sir Ian Andrews (Second Permanent Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence), David Symons (CWGC Director for France), Colonel Duhr (German military attaché in Paris) and Peter Barton (Secretary of the All Party War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group). Sing Australia, a wonderful choir made up of singers from all over Australia, put the finishing touch to the whole thing. I’m bound to have forgotten somebody really important, but I’m sure that someone will let me know if I have!

The commemorations began at VC Corner with the laying of wreaths. Mike (Guzzie T3, who began this thread) very kindly agreed to lay the wreath of behalf of the British families. This was extremely appropriate as Mike’s grandfather died on 20th July 1916 from wounds sustained during the battle at Fromelles. Carole Laignel read The Exhortation.

We then moved on to the Australian Memorial Park (more wreath-laying) where Monsieur Lebleu (Deputy Mayor) gave a speech which was repeated in English by Carole (having been very badly translated by myself :blush: ) and I read The Exhortation.

Then on to Pheasant Wood. My goodness but how it’s changed since early June! Very neat and green with a white chain-link fence surrounding the whole area of the dig. Somebody commented that it had begun to look like a cemetery and it was very tempting to agree. It was lovely to see Madam Demassiet attend the service. Yet more wreath-laying here and I read “In Flanders Fields” which was then read in French by Carole. The choir (Sing Australia) then sang the three national anthems absolutely beautifully.

After the service there were many photo calls and we then trooped up the hill to the village hall for drinks and nibbles. I don’t think I have ever seen the hall so crowded and it was really refreshing to see so many dignitaries mixing quite freely with the inhabitants of Fromelles.

I nominated poor Marc Thompson to be our “official photographer” - photos to follow soon. If anyone would like a CD of photos from the services at Fromelles, would they PM their address through to me and I’ll get something in the post asap.

V.

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