Australian Memorial Park, Fromelles, France

The Park is situated around the remains of fortifications on part of the old German line captured by the 14th Australian Brigade and held overnight on 19-20 July 1916.  Nearby is the VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial.

The central feature of the memorial park is the sculpture ‘Cobbers’ by Peter Corlett of Melbourne.  The sculpture is modelled on Sergeant Simon Fraser of 57th Battalion, a 40 year old Victorian farmer turned soldier who rescued many men from the battlefield. He is carrying a man of 60th Battalion.

Later, Fraser, as a Lieutenant with the 58th Battalion, was Mentioned in Dispatches before being killed at Bullecourt on 12 May 1917. He is commemorated on the wall of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

The Memorial Park and VC Corner are approximately 3km from Fromelles and 16km west of Lille.

See Also:

See the memorials in historical perspective:

 

'Cobbers' Memorial dedication plaque

 'Cobbers' Memorial

 

Crowd at the dedication of the 'Cobbers' Memorial

 'Cobbers' Memorial dedication plaque  'Cobbers' Memorial  Crowd at the dedication of the 'Cobbers' Memorial

 
 

Official Commemoration of War Dead found at Fromelles

Australia’s war dead from the Great War 1914-1918 are commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).  The casualties recovered from the mass burial site at Pheasant Wood will not be repatriated to Australia but will be permanently commemorated by the CWGC in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) War Cemetery. 

Since its inception in 1917, the CWGC has followed the principles of equality and uniformity in the official commemoration of war dead.  In practical terms the principles mean:

Each of the war dead is commemorated individually by name, on either a grave headstone (or headstone plaque), or an inscription on a Memorial to the Missing;

  • the headstones and memorials are maintained in perpetuity;
  • the inscriptions on headstones and memorials are uniform in content; and
  • there is no distinction in style of commemoration made on the basis of military rank, civil rank or wealth of the veteran or his family.

The CWGC cemeteries and Memorials to the Missing in 150 countries around the world are the tangible expression of these principles.

The Australian casualties buried at Pheasant Wood will have been listed by the CWGC as having no known grave, and accordingly they would now be commemorated by name on the Memorials to the Missing at VC Corner Australian Cemetery or the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. 

When casualties recovered from Pheasant Wood are identified, a headstone, inscribed with the following information will be provided:

  • Service Badge (In the case of Australians, this will be the Rising Sun AIF Badge)
  • name (initials and surname)
  • rank
  • unit
  • date of death
  • age (optional)
  • religious emblem (optional)
  • a personal inscription chosen by relatives (optional).

In due course, the name of each identified casualty will be removed from the Memorial to the Missing where it is now found as the casualty will have a known grave.

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