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Fromelles16: July 19th events


velo350
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This is a summary of Remembrance Day at Pheasant Wood.

http://fffaif.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/1111-at-fromelles1/

There are three lots of photographs that appear on the menu board on the right hand side.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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  • 2 months later...
News just announced from the Australian Department of Defence

FROMELLES SOLDIERS IDENTIFICATION: SCIENTIFIC MATCHING TO BE ATTEMPTED

G'day Tim, sandra,Peter N and all my Fromelles compadres

It's Tim Whitford back again.

Just read this thread all the way forward from page 17 or 18 or wherever it was that I got flogged. First time I've been back since and it seems there's a lot of discussion under the bridge. Might give it another go every so often.

I just bought a private collection of Fromelles based photos from Europe. Some of them are "the usual suspects" that we've seen before but others are very interesting German photos with captions in the same handwriting as the "Angriff bei Fromelles 19/7/1916...." photos. Some of them show groups of dead we haven't seen before...One of them is of particular interest to me as wounds and build match B36 Pit 4. I think I'm going to keep it in the family rather than show it around, at least until after B36 is exhumed and tested.

Cheerio for now all,

Tim Whitford.

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G'Day Tim,

Glad to see you're back here for an update. Photos sound very interesting, especially the one you think might show B36 Pit 4.

We'll have to get together soon so you can show me.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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And another G'day to Tim,

Good to see you are "on air" again and I have noted your Forum ID.

Please let me know if you are going to be at Fromelles during this year so we can catch up once more. We will be back in Arras at the end of March and hope to get to Fromelles on a regular basis.

Best regards, Peter

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I dont know if it has been mentioned already, but just so as everyone is aware, the team to undertake recovery is to be chosen on February 6th. For my two peneth, I hope they go with GUARD, they would appear to have proven themselves already in the field.

Colin Stalgis

Stalgis, G F, Cpl.

14th Machine Gun Co

KIA 19/20 July 1916

Fromelles

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Premature, I know, dangerously premature, but if the peri-mortal cranial damage proves accurate, anyone think we are looking at another 'Ovillers incident' here ?

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Sorry. Just read in Pedersen that only the first two waves of 5th Division were equipped with helmets, the remainder wore their slouch hats into battle and this may account for the damage rather than an atrocity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

G'day Tim, and other Fromelles compadres.....I finally got the new iMovie 2009 program, and am beginning to edit some of the films together....my first play with the new program, about Fromelles is here

http://gallery.me.com/vnurcombe#100135

and I'll put it up on YouTube as well. Final product will be 1000% better, just wanted to remind everybody how generous you were with we interlopers Tim....

Happy 2009.....

Vic

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The announcement for which we have been waiting:

OXFORD ARCHAEOLOGY WINS FROMELLES EXCAVATION CONTRACT

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, along with his British counterpart, Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans, Mr Kevan Jones MP today jointly announced that Oxford Archaeology had been awarded the contract to undertake the excavation of an Australian and British First World War group burial site at Fromelles, France.

Mr Snowdon said Oxford Archaeology was awarded the archaeological excavation contract based on their ability to meet the unique requirements of the project and their superior operational and management structure.

“The Australian and British Governments will share the cost of the Pheasant Wood excavation, which is expected to take up to six months depending on several factors including the weather, soil conditions and the actual number of remains recovered,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The awarding of this contract means that planning can begin in earnest for the excavation to commence in May this year and I look forward to work commencing that will ultimately see our brave soldiers fully honoured and laid to rest.”

Two technical advisers and one representative each from the Australian Defence Force, United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and Commonwealth War Graves Commission were responsible for evaluating the tenders and ultimately awarding the contract.

This process required each representative to independently review the tenders and develop assessments over a seven-day period, before spending two days as a group debating the merits of each application.

“There has been a particularly close and amicable working relationship between our two countries on this project to excavate potentially 400 sets of human remains from the First World War burial site,” Minister Jones said.

“By the end of the project in 2010 all the bodies will be permanently laid to rest in individual graves at a new Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Fromelles. Wherever it is possible to identify the remains, named graves will be provided,” Minister Jones said.

The Australian Army is developing a working list of those First Australian Imperial Forces soldiers it believes may be buried at the site and is encouraging potential relatives to register on Army’s ‘Fromelles Relatives’ database. More information is available online at www.defence.gov.au/fromelles or via the dedicated public inquiries line 1800 019 090.

Background:

The group burial at Pheasant Wood was confirmed during a limited excavation in May 2008. It is believed up to 400 Australian and British soldiers still lie at this site where they were buried by German forces following the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

The Battle of Fromelles began 19 days after the opening of the Somme campaign, and was the first battle fought by Australians on the Western Front. It is known as Australia’s bloodiest 24 hours with 5,533 Fifth Australian Division casualties including 1,917 killed.

Planning is underway for a full archaeological excavation of the site and individual re interment of remains in a new Commonwealth War Cemetery at Fromelles, to be known as the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. The archaeological excavation is scheduled to commence in May 2009 and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is overseeing the work on behalf of both the Australian and British Governments.

DNA testing of an initial cross-section of remains has been agreed and, if this process returns positive results, consideration will be given to testing the balance of remains as part of the overall identification process

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This is great news, I hope that the initial DNA testing works out, roll on May.

Peter

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I know this matter is controversial but I can't help but feel that this is absolutely the correct way forward.

Personally, I am disappointed that we appear to be lagging the Aussies in terms of tracking down relatives - although I hope that work is being done behind the scenes to make good this deficiency. Making a good number of positive identifications would be really wonderful.

My view is that this is a magnicent way to rededicate ourselves collectively to the Spirit of Rembrance - of course, this in itself is controversial to some who are seeking to demilitarise the Great War. Certain folk will just have to collectively fume as they witness our will to proceed with the construction of this new cemetery as a continuation of our massive efforts in the 20s and 30s.

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I feel that this new cemetery will be like a bright beacon that will shine its light on all of those other special places of remembrance in France and Belgium. It will provide a fresh lift to those places that may be starting to fade due to time.

Here in 2009 and 2010, the People of the United Kingdom and Australia are re-affirming that they will not be forgotten. I hope those boys who lie out there, in those cemeteries and in those fields can see the new light, it is for you.

No matter how long it takes for us to re-discover them, we will embrace them and lay them with their comrades, with dignity.

LEST WE FORGET

Peter

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Nicely said Peter.

Ian,

I'm not sure how the search to identify the British soldiers and locate their descendants goes in the UK but I can give you some figures from Australia.

Of course, there is not an 'absolute' list of Australian names yet but we are coming very close and it seems to fluctuating somewhere between 178 - 200. A couple of months ago I combined the lists of descendants located by the Fromelles Descendant Database (our private research team) and those who have registered with the Army Fromelles Project Group. Between us we have descendants listed for 107 of these men. In addition, the FDD have a few more on the verge of being resolved very soon and the number who have registered with the AFPG may have increased since then.

May I also say that during our research into these men, we have discovered some very touching stories and some very interesting characters, one in particular may be highly significant in terms of Australia's military history, however I can't elaborate on that until our facts are confirmed.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Peter ... that 'shining light' was created by the boys themselves ... they wanted to be found. During my research I have had some very surreal experiences however, mine is not to question why.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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This is going to be the Great War story of the year if not the decade and I very much look forward to seeing how it plays out. I think there will be much excitement and controversy before we can stroll at our leisure in the new cemetry to inspect (hopefully) a decent number of named graves. I am sure it will excite the general public as well as us enthusiasts.

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It becomes more exciting for Tim and I every day Ian ... we have been fortunate enough to nut out a few puzzles together ... Sherlock and Marples strike a blow for identification!!!

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Yes, I understand that there are some interesting things happening with reference to the research - us mere mortals await the time when Moses comes down from the mountain with the tablets and all the stories are told.

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Just finished my time in the Somme and Flanders and visiting the site of the unknown diggers in Fromelles was a fitting way to end my tour and to reflect on the experience.

Spider

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Hello Spider .

As you say the experiencee is fantastic spent my free weekends looking around all the site,s managed to to be allowed onto the Frommeles site dont know how you felt but when ever i went there i felt a tingle go thorugh my body and an eary feeling

did i hear here the crakell of gun fire ?????????? i,ll never know .

glad you enjoyed your time there one visit is not enough ,i go back in mid march try to finish the work ..

cossak for our today they gave tomorrow

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Cossak ... the tingle is the boys excitement at being visited :)

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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  • 3 weeks later...

Perhaps people might find this article interesting. Just in case you missed it :)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7940540.stm

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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