Missing Soldiers of Fromelles
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Fromelles Discussion Group - Guest Book

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: Norma Staber
From: Charmhaven, Central Coast NSW
E-mail: Contact
No. 1888 Private Reginald Raymond Wildman/Bradney of 54th Battalion was my mother's half brother. He enlisted at Liverpool on 30th December, 1914 and joined the 4th Rein, 2nd Battalion under Major G.W.D. Ross. Reg was 18 yrs and 6 mths at the time, was 5' 8" tall and weighed 9 stone. His chest measurement was given as 31"-34", his complexion - medium, eyes and hair - brown. His only distinguishing mark was a scar on his right shin. On 31st May, 1915 he joined the 2nd Battalion at Gallipoli where he became ill with influenza and was transferred to hospital in Cairo. Reginald returned to his unit in Gallipoli on 13th July, 1915, but he became ill again with diarrhoea and was hospitalised at Lemnos. After more bouts of diarrhoea, influenza, abcess on his neck, he joined the 54th Battalion on 16th February, 1916. He embarked on the 'H.T. Caledonian' from Alexandria, to join the BEF, on 19th June, 1916 and arrived in Marseilles three days later and was reported missing on 21st July, 1916 following the battle at Fromelles, later declared killed in action. His name appears on the memorial wall at VC Corner and on the Wall at the Australian War Memorial. His medals the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal were sent to my grandmother along with the Memorial Scroll. She also lost two brothers and a cousin in France, one brother returning home injured in 1919 and another cousin, Lieut Brice Bradney, returned and died in Australia in 1947.
Added: May 10, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Marilyn Dawson-Hamilton
From: Poole Dorset UK
E-mail: Contact

Private post. Click to view.

Added: May 7, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Jan Fitzgerald
From: Australia
E-mail: Contact
Lance Corporal Reginald Douglas WYMARK, 789,30th Battalion (My great uncle).

Memorial: VC Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial Fromelles FRANCE.
Added: April 25, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Peter Sullivan
From: Lane Cove, NSW
E-mail: Contact
My Grandfather on my fathers side John James Sullivan was one of several siblings of 2793 Pte Arthur Sullivan 60th Battalion. They both lived at Cruickshank St., Port Melbourne, before Arthur went off to WWI, dying in the Battle of Fromelles. I am not sure if my relationship to Arthur (I am his Grand Nephew) is close enough to be eligible for DNA identification. I am also not sure if other closer members of Arthur's family have offered their DNA but if no one else has offered themselves to assist in this cause, and my relationship is close enough, then I am willing to help in that regard.

A letter to the Red Cross by a Miss V (or P) K Tyler asking for information regarding Arthur's whereabouts says he was in B Company, 60th Btn, 15th Infantry Brigade A.I.F.
Added: April 13, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Rebecca Kearney
From: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
E-mail: Contact
I have been researching my grandfathers uncle, 3299 Private Charles John Wyatt, his life, death and burial. I was convinced he is among the group buried at Pheasant Woods but have just recieved an email to say he has not been included on the working group list and I am devastated. I was so hoping to find him and have him buried 'properly'. They do say the list is inconclusive, I still have hope.
Good luck to all others with their searches
Added: April 2, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Kim Bailey
From: Wolverhampton, England
E-mail: Contact
I would like to register my interest in the Fromelles project. I have recently learnt my great great uncle, Private Samuel Farlow, Jnr, is likely one of the men who fell at Fromelles. He was born in Wolverhampton in England but signed up to the Australian Army having emigrated there in 1913 possibly to join his elder sister, Elizabeth Moloney. The horrors all WW1 solders endured should never ever be forgotten. I am pleased they have been discovered these men and hope as many of them as possible can be identified and given an honourable burial they all so deserve. I have another lost great uncle who fell in France, alas there is no known grave only an area deduced from the war diary where he is thought to have fallen.
Added: March 27, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Pierre Vandervelden
From: Belgium
E-mail: Contact
Fromelles Discussion Group is a wonderful initiative particularly as it represents an independent, community-based campaign to have the British and Australian governments identify, rebury and individually memorialize the Great War soldiers which were recently unearthed at Pheasant Wood. Testing DNA technology at the mass grave is the first step in this process and one which is welcomed by myself, and IN MEMORy which is dedicated to commemorating the contribution of such service personnel during WWI and WWII.

I hope to be able to visit a new cemetery for these men in the near future and wish to lend my support to the ongoing campaign to have the authorities identify all unknown burials related to the Battle of Fromelles and hope to meet you in France when the cemetery has been established.
Added: January 4, 2009 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Peter Oakley
From: New Norfolk, Tasmania, Austral
E-mail: Contact
I fully endorse the pursuit of individual DNA testing or other forensic methods to identify those who fell in the fighting at Fromelles. These AIF personnel gave their lives for God, King and Country and it is only right they should be identified as individuals.

The fallen in the mass grave at Pheasant Wood should be given military honours so they can be remembered and honoured and closure is obtained for those who still have memories of them as living souls ó even this many years on!

When we say "Lest We Forget", it can be best done by giving these soldiers their true place.
Added: October 20, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Terry Erbs
From: Brisbane Qld Australia
E-mail: Contact
The discovery of the mass grave at Pheasant Wood has brought hope to our family that finally Cecil Woods Giblett can be found and buried with full military honours, at a suitable site nearby in France. My Great Uncle was killed during the Attack on Fromelles on the evening of 19th of July 1916. The family were very distressed by his death and my Grandmother was moved to name her first born son Cecil. His final resting place was never discovered but possibly now he will be finally found and for that we must publicly thank Madame Demassiet, the owner of the land, for her kindness and generosity.
As a veteran myself, Iím inspired by the efforts of Operation Aussies Home group, honouring our lost fallen in Vietnam and believe that we should similarly find, identify and bury with honour our lost fallen in France.
Added: October 2, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Geoff Tully
From: Adelaide, South Australia
E-mail: Contact
My mother's cousin, Lt Thomas Percival Hagan, 'B' Coy, 32nd Battalion, 1st AIF was killed at the Battle of Fromelles during the Great War and his uncle, 371 Pte Sydney Alexander Loveday, an ANZAC who was a signaller with the 27th, also fell in the Battle of Menin Road, on the 20th September 1917. Neither of them were recovered. Percy is known to have reached the German support trenches with the 32nd in spite of impossible odds and it would be good to know the whereabouts of his remains.

I support the campaign to have the Pheasant Wood remains identified and believe the Australian Government should apply DNA testing and other modern forensic techniques to the mass grave at Fromelles before re-interring these World War One diggers with full military honours.

Percy was a young man when he enlisted and had a full life ahead of him. The missing of Fromelles deserve to be individually memorialized.
Added: September 24, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  

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