More Aussie soldiers from Battle of Fromelles identified

Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon.
Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon. Australian Department of Defence

THE remains of another five Australian soldiers killed during the Battle of Fromelles in 1916 have been identified.

They were among 250 Australian and British First World War soldiers who were recovered from a mass burial site at Pheasant Wood in France.

A joint Australian Army and UK Ministry of Defence project team recovered the remains in 2009.

They were later reburied in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery in 2010.

It means 124 Australians have been identified at Pheasant Wood.

Almost 90 Australians and two British soldiers remain unidentified, while the headstones of another 37 are inscribed "A Soldier of the Great War - Known unto God".

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will erect new headstones with the identified soldiers' details, ahead of a dedication on July 19 during the annual commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles.

"We are encouraged by these latest successful identifications which were made possible by the large number of extended family members, both in Australia and overseas, who provided DNA samples," Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said.

"We currently have more than 3000 family members' details in our records but we still need more."

The joint Australian Army and UK Ministry of Defence project will wind up next year, however, the Army's Unrecovered War Casualties team will continue to process any new information received.

"If you think you might be related to a soldier who remains unaccounted for from the Battle of Fromelles, please contact the Army," Mr Snowdon said.

The Army's Fromelles Project team can be contacted by telephoning 1800 019 090 or by accessing the website at army.gov.au/our-work/Unrecovered-War-Casualties-Army


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