08 May 2009

The Fromelles Project

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One of the newsworthy genealogy-related project going on now is excavations underway at Pheasant Wood, near the French village of Fromelles, the site of a series of pits, the mass graves for Australian and British soldiers killed in action during the Great War Battle of Fromelles .

This Commonwealth War Graves Commission project is working to have remains, which were buried by German forces, permanently laid to rest in individual graves at a new CWGC cemetery.

The CWGC records suggest that between 19 and 21 July 1916 the Australian dead at Fromelles numbered 1,780, the British 503.

There is a project web site here, that includes lists of names of Australian and British soldiers some of whom are thought likely to be buried at Pheasant Wood here.

The list of names was developed by Peter Barton, a First World War historian and author with the help of records in the basement of the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva blogged about here last March.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...


This is in fact a joint project being undertaken by the Australian and UK Governments. The Commonweatlh War Graves Commission has been engaged by the two Governments to provide project management of the excavations at Fromelles and the DNA contract which will be a major element of the identification project. The two prime contractors undertaking the work are Oxford Archaeology and LGC Forensics. In parallel with the work underway at Fromelles, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is contructing a new cemetery where the bodies recovered will be buried. Your link to the project website did not appear to work. Also as there are two websites, I suggest you use http://www.army.gov.au/fromelles/ (the Australian site) and http://www.cwgc.org/fromelles/ ( the UK site).

Steve Martin
Austalian Co-Chair of the Fromelles Management Board