Missing Soldiers of Fromelles
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The limited recovery program at Fromelles has concluded, the remains of exhumed soldiers have been re-interred in what has been described as a purpose-built cemetery and the opening of the newly-constructed complex has been scheduled for 19 July 2010, when the final unknown soldier from Pheasant Wood will be buried with military honours to coincide with the 94th anniversary of the historic assault. Preparations for the opening of the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery are all but completed, the burial ground supposedly being designed as a tangible expression of the principles of equality and uniformity which underpin the CWGC-although, how this is possible when more than a thousand Great War Diggers from the battle have actually been left out of the identification process, is difficult to understand.

Should any relative or community member want to contribute to the work of Fromelles Discussion Group or post an entry in this Guestbook, please contact the Convenor/Administrator by means of info@FromellesDiscussionGroup.com.au. Guestbook requests should include your name, your city/state/country, E-mail address and any comments you are interested in posting.

July 5, 2010

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Number of entries: 42 Number of pages: 5
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Submitted by Comments:
Name: Janet Pheasant
From: Melbourne, Australia
Re: 2462 Private Walter Pheasant, 54th Battalion AIF, born in London, UK

I am a distant relative of Walter Pheasant whom I believe was killed during the Fromelles campaign and buried at Pheasant Wood. I understand that Walter has been identified by a person or persons in Great Britain. Unfortunately though I have been informed by Australian sources that this remains classified information.

As I have only recently discovered that Walter Pheasant is a relative I wonder if it is possible to have my details published in an effort to make contact with the individuals that submitted to DNA sampling during the recovery process. Of course I understand the sensitive nature of this request. However, I would like to have an opportunity to connect with the UK relatives of Private Pheasant, now that he has been listed by the Australian Department of Defence.
Added: June 27, 2010 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Peter Miller
From: Toowoomba
I found this forum only recently while researching my great uncle, 247 Pte Arthur Donald Leigh, who died at Fromelles. I found a posting from a lady related to the same soldier. This lady is a close relative I had never met and I was able to contact her and find that she and her husband will be in Fromelles on July 19 as will my wife and I.

Helen Thomas was able to give me a photo of Arthur Donald in uniform. I have looked at it many times this week and wondered if he knew what he was in for. I doubt it.

I'm quite excited to be meeting my long lost cousin, Helen and our mutual relative Arthur Donald after all these years.

Thanks for providing this opportunity. All of your hard work was worth it.
Added: June 26, 2010 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Judy Hanlen
From: Wollongong, NSW, Australia
I have found your website on Fromelles most interesting but wish to correct a small error in your letter to the NZ Government. In referring to my great uncle, 728 Private Henry Oscar Nelson, C Company 30th Battalion, you said that his father, Martin, was deceased by the time he enlisted. This small point is incorrect—Martin in fact died in a tram accident in Sydney on 10th July, 1917. Newspaper reports suggest, Henry's father who resided at Parkes Street, Ryde, NSW, was accidentally killed when returning from Sydney on Monday evening having fallen from a tram in Miller Street, Pyrmont. Martin was picked up in an unconscious condition and taken to Sydney Hospital where he died on Tuesday morning. The news of his death appeared in the same issue of the daily papers as that of his son killed at the front.

Unfortunately, Henry who signed his attestation papers on the 19th July, 1915, will probably reman unidentified as there are no sufficiently close relatives remaining for viable DNA sampling. However I will be going to the dedication ceremony in Fromelles to honour his memory.
Added: June 20, 2010 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Paul J Duckworth
From: Bolton, Lancashire, UK
I am the great nephew of 6054 PTE William Henry Bignell—My family have some photos of him and also the family tree (we have also contacted the CWGC with info too).
Added: November 26, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Peter Osmond
From: San Jose, USA (Org. melbourne)
E-mail: Contact
My father was named after his uncle 2414 Private Robert (L. E. C.) Osmond who never came back from WWI. Private Osmond was born in Kiandra, NSW and was the son of George James Osmond. My grandfather's brother was 23 when he enlisted, joining the Australian Imperial Force on 3rd July 1915 and later serving with the 30th Battalion. He died at Fromelles on 20th July 1916, and his body was never recovered.

Work took me to Belgium and I visited VC Corner. I have learnt quite a bit about my own family following this through and I have contacted the Army, identifying both male and female family members who can assist with DNA samples.
Added: November 21, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Barbara
From: Melbourne, Australia
E-mail: Contact
I still have a couple of postcards and letters that were written by my great uncle, Pte Henry Bell who was killed in Fleurbaix. The latest letter is dated 7/5/16. I do feel a more personal connection to him because of these letters and quite an extraordinary feeling of almost knowing him through what he has written. There are also a few letters written to him by my grandfather (who wrote to him weekly) expressing deep concern for his wellfare. These were written after he was killed and were returned to my grandfather.

I am so very pleased to have these and so grateful to my mother for keeping them for all this time.
Added: November 14, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Angie
From: Victoria
E-mail: Contact
What a worthwhile project! The people connected with it are to be commended. It is a comprehensive, and user friendly website. I'm also particularly impressed with the people liaising with the general public. They are just as "user-friendly". Thanks.

You're doing a terrific job. Keep up the good work.
Added: October 21, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Glenn
From: Melbourne, Victoria
E-mail: Contact
Would anybody have any information or would like to comment on 629 Pte Reginald George Denton 31/Bn who was officially declared killed 21/7/16 at Fromelles. His Red Cross file states 'Jaw shot away & seen wandering about aimlessly in German 1st line trench, covered in blood about 6.30 pm not at all likely to have returned. Fleurbaix July 19th'.
Why would he be declared killed 21/7/16 and why is he on the Villers Bretenneux memorial rather than the VC Corner memorial? Perhaps it's because he wasn't classed as being killed on 19-20/7/16 that he wasn't included on the VC corner memorial?
Added: October 5, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: David Barlow
From: Adelaide, S.A.
E-mail: Contact
My second cousin, Lance Corporal Alfred George Sinigear, No. 16, 32nd Btn, 'A' Coy, was KIA on 19 July 1916 at Fromelles - along with so many others. He was from Blackwood, S.A., aged just 19. His place of burial is unknown, but he is remembered with an inscription at the VC Corner memorial. I have joined the DNA project to assist with identification of those soldiers at Pheasant Wood. Time has nearly run out to register for this process. I urge other families not to delay in participating. Any information on Alfred appreciated.
Added: September 30, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Ann Woolf
From: Australia (originally UK)
E-mail: Contact
I would like to contact Norma Staber about her Bradney connections. I am very interested in Reginald Raymond Bradney. I have been researching the Bradney tree for many years as my partner was Maurie Bradney who is Reginald Raymond Bradney's half second cousin.
Added: September 25, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  

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