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Fromelles16: July 19th events


velo350
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I'm not sure that I quite see the significance yet of the so called "finds" at the Fromelles site?

A hand and an arm to date I believe? Plus "some remains".

Surely I'd probably find the same if I dug a big hole on just about any part of the line in the main push and pull battle areas of the front.

Doesn't this "dig" only beome interesting if 20 or 30 bodies in a single "pit" are found? Until then aren't what have been found so far just the expected detritus of a very bloody conflict? (and I absolutely accept the human validity of these remains meaning something to someone ... but that's not the real point of this "dig" is it?)

I've probably missed something and look forward to being enlightened so I can understand the excitement.

My guess is that they are still in the upper layers of the pits and these are your average (but still important) western front detritus. If these people were buried as fully articulated corpses then they are likely to remain as articulated skeletons laid at the bottom of the pits. Having said that, other people have made the point that the pits may have been disturbed by later shelling etc.

Cheers

Dominic

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"Thanks Michel, a picture speaks a thousand words."

Hello Kim,

Lambis, General O'Brien and BBC reporters.

très amicalement

Michel

post-10155-1212499034.jpg

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All I can say is how awsome it is - that this is happening !

I can hardly imagine the emotions of the families .... it must be nerve wracking to be waiting for news

Like Tim said most of these families know everything there is to know about these soldiers -

what a wonderful closure this will be for them !

Thanks for the photos Michel !

Annie :)

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Would the German Burial Parties involved in the aftermath of the Fromelles Attack have used Quick Lime to hasten the decompositon of the Bodies and to prevent the spread of Disease during the Hot Weather at the Time ?

http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/archsci/depart/resgrp/towton/

The Link i have posted above relates to the Burial Pit discovered and Excavated in Towton,Yorks,but i daresay that the People involved with the Fromelles Dig will Experience similar problems as at Towton when it comes to seperating Skeletal remains and finding any remaining personal items amongst the Dead.

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Thanks, Michel, you are correct with that photo.

A man had the courage and conviction, to pursue to the end, what he believed to be right. And so, the missing, who are but names on a wall, may have a memorial, to which family, and folk can come to pay their respects, on the ground that they lay beneath.

As with Tyne Cot, Pozieres, and all the other gravesites of WW1, they will be acknowldged, in the field where they lay?

Is it not fitting, to be so?

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What, about, as the media report, a memorial on the ground where they lay?

Would this have their names, or would it outline the circumstances only?

Kim

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All the names are already carried on the V.C.Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial at Fromelles.

There could very well be a cemetery built to enclose the new site with appropriate features - Cross of Sacrifice etc. However, would it would be deemed appropriate to move the names from one site down the road to another? After all the memorial also bears the names of over 400 unknown Aussies buried at VC Corner as well. How would they separate them?

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Would the German Burial Parties involved in the aftermath of the Fromelles Attack have used Quick Lime to hasten the decompositon of the Bodies and to prevent the spread of Disease during the Hot Weather at the Time ?

When the first pit to be excavated (Pit No. 5) was opened, lumps of quick lime were discovered between the soil/clay and the contents of the pit itself. There is also German documentation evidencing the fact that the Germans were throwing quick lime over the decomposing remains which were lying along the wire closest to their front line trench.

V.

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Good point, Terry.

As you say, possibly an enclsure with the Cross, no more need be added as they are named at VC.

Would not like to be the ones making the decisions.

Way too emotional.

Kim

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What, about, as the media report, a memorial on the ground where they lay?

Would this have their names, or would it outline the circumstances only?

Kim

i would have thought that the Excellent Cobbers Statue and Australian Memorial Park is already a Fitting Memorial to these men,and there is a Lot of Info in Situ around the Memorial in the Form of Photos and maps etc,etc.explaining the history of the Action.

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=h...l%3Den%26sa%3DG

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:( The British Missing are already Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing. :(
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If we start to include British and Indian forces who fell in that area, Fromelles starts to merge into a background of losses. 1915 saw three battles within a couple of miles of Fromelles, merging at the western end. Many thousands of British and Indian losses, hence the Indian Memorial a couple of kilometres down the road. Armentieres to La Bombe saw constant fighting with a deal of mining throughout the war. Le Touret has many of the names of the Brits. Cross the canal to the south and you are on the Loos battlefield with Dud Corner. Go North and you very quickly hit the salient with Menin Gate and Tyne Cott. Fromelles was in the middle of the British lines from 1914 right through to the German attacks in 1918. Barring mistakes, as Terry has said, they are all named somewhere. I think of Plumer's words. " They are not forgotten, They are here".

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There are names on the VC memorial to the `missing` that are known to be buried with a headstone at other cemeterys, so this makes the VC site incorrect (not that I am nit picking, it`s just wrong ) The unique thing about VC is it is the only cemetery on the western front without any headstones, and I agree with ozzie there are almost 400 british possibley buried at pheasant wood. For what it is worth, re-intern those at pheasant wood in there own rite, with a headstone where possible, with a name if dna proves beyond reasonable doubt the id, unknown if not. Remove names from VC for those who have been found. Sorry, just me thinking out loud, but I would like if possible for our relative to have a headstone if he is found, it would make a pilgrimage to his grave some what more personal.

sarge

2898 Cpl Stalgis, Gregory, Francis.

5th Bat, 14th Inf Div

KIA

http://www.defence.gov.au/fromelles for updates

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was it not Rudyard Kipling that decreed that it had to be beyond doubt before a name could be added, and look what happend to the suspected remains of Lt Kipling ?

There were 2 of 4 sets of remains identified at Polygonne Wood last year, a 3rd was inconclusive but they still brought suspected relatives for the reinternment although there was no name added to the headstone. Another method used is: " Known to buried at this site ".

Sarge

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"Believed to Be"

"Known to be Buried in this Cemetery"

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Michel ... THANK YOU ... consider yourself warmly hugged!

I am so pleased at the outcome for Lambis. The man stood by his convictions for all these years despite the 'flack' hurled at him. It is both a pleasure and an honour to be working with him (albeit in a small way) to see these men returned to their families.

I haven't been as fortunate as Tim to speak to a lot of the families we have discovered but for those I have it has been a rewarding and emotional experience. These men have never been forgotten by their families and 92 years on they shed tears of pain at losing them so sadly.

Lest we Forget.

Sandra

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Thank you Michel for passing on my message and for posting the photos.

There are obviously questions being asked here about what should be done with the remains of these soldiers. There is merit to each opinion and there is no doubt that they are put forward with respect as a paramount consideration.

My personal view is that we should spare no cost in an attempt to identify as many as possible and give them a named grave, perhaps on the site at Pheasant Wood if permissable. It is true that DNA testing is not always successful and in some cases not even locatable in remains. However, if it is found that either nuclear or mitochondrial DNA is likely to be extracted from the remains then I think we should use that facility (failing all else) to establish as many identities as possible. Having two relatives buried in Belgium and France, I was one of the fortunate one's who had a specific grave to go and pay my respects. At the time I visited, I realised that had they only been names on a memorial then the feeling of having paid my respects would not have been as fulfilling.

From a particularly Australian standpoint, of those who are never to be identified, I think we should use the work begun by Lambis to establish the likelihood of those buried at Pheasant Wood and create a 'Believed to be buried in this cemetery" memorial at Pheasant Wood. If we are able to verify through identification that some of those on the list created by Lambis research are 'correct', then it stands to reason that there is a more than even chance that the rest are also to be found there. If such a list also exists for the British soldiers who lie there then I would suggest the same for them also.

Ultimately, we need to consider the families of the missing. If identification is deemed 'possible', we need to be guided by their thoughts to establish the most appropriate course of action.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Isn't everyone getting a bit previous with the suggestions about commemoration. Surely that will be decided when it is known exactly what remains have been found.

Am i correct in thinking this current exploration is only about deciding on what is likely to be found and not a full exhumation?

Mick

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That's correct Mick and although we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves, the indications are that all the bodies are present and therefore there's no harm in debating an appropriate response based on any given set of circumstances.

In the long run, what we say here probably won't have a great bearing on what is decided upon by those in charge but it still makes for an interesting discussion.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Sarge2871,

VC corner is not the only cemetery on the Western Front to have no headstones. RE Grave, on the Bellewaerde Ridge contains a single cross of sacrifice with the names of those believed to be buried in the near vicinity engraved on the base of the cross. (1 Officer, 3 NCO's and 8 men).

Regards

Iain

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