Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Battle Of Fromelles 19 July 1916

53rd Battalion, AIF, waiting to go over the top, 19 July 1916

"At 11.00hrs on 30 January 2010, a ceremony to rebury the first of the 250 Australian and British soldiers recovered from Pheasant Wood will commence at the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, which is currently under construction by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

"The first soldier will be buried with military honours on 30 January in the presence of the people of Fromelles and dignitaries from Australia, The United Kingdom and France. The reburials of the remaining soldiers, which will be carried out in exactly the same way, will begin on Monday 1 February and continue throughout February (weather permitting) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting at 9.00hrs each day. Each reburial will take the form of a standard military funeral, with hearse, bearer party and padre in attendance.

"The last soldier's remains will be buried at the final commemorative event and dedication of the new cemetery on 19 July 2010 - the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles. Each soldier will be buried initially without a permanent headstone awaiting identification if possible. In March 2010, a specially convened identification board will consider evidence to determine what, if any, level of identification can be attributed to each soldier. Evidence will include historical, anthropological, archaeological and DNA information. In April 2010, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will begin erecting headstones for each soldier reflecting the determinations of the identification board. Members of the public will be able to attend these events."

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