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Fromelles - The searches past and present


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#26 David Faulder

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:37 PM

On BBC Look North (West Yorkshire) this morning, some Numptie stated the bodies had been "found by a French Farmer"
obviously they had never heard of Lambis.

Words fail me..................


Confused with another find?

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#27 cypresslodge

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

Just watched the live coverage from Fromelles. Such a beautiful, dignified and heart breaking ceremony!

Hopefully the coverage in Britain will be as good as it was here in Australia.

The outbreak of applause for Lambis was wonderful :)

Cheers
Sharon

#28 Scotty

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:03 PM

Just warched the TV covrage. Magnificent. At the very end the commentator said that Lambis was on the verge of another discovery.

#29 Pighills

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:22 PM

Unless I missed something (which I'm certain I didn't) they didn't show the bit about Lambis, which I would have been extremely interested in. It must have been during the break they took to go back to the main news - about 10 minutes or so?

#30 moggs

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:23 PM

Truly humbling to watch this. Wish I were there to fully appreciate it all - be there in September.

Jonathan

#31 green_acorn

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:06 PM

Just warched the TV covrage. Magnificent. At the very end the commentator said that Lambis was on the verge of another discovery.


I would imagine that the new discovery Lambis had told the Channel 7 (Australia) commentator about may well be one of the sites Peter Barton alluded to in a TV documentary about Fromelles last year/2008. I seem to recall Mr Barton suggesting that there were German records of other sites in the area. Now before anyone howls too much about why those weren't inspected at the same time, we should remember, as Roger Lee states in his book "The Battle of Fromelles 1916":

Page 173 "......, in 1922, all the victorious governments had agreed that further active searching for war dead should cease. This was partially motivated by financial reasons - it was proving very expensive to retain graves recovery personnel in Europe. Bu the governments were also motivated by the desire to allow French and Belgian civilians in the battle zones to re-establish some semblance of normal life. Constant digging for missing soldiers and lost graves was disrupting attempts to build new infrastructure and establish new farms. .......................

Mr Lee then goes onto describe the approach by Lambis Englezos, his first submission to the expert panel and the decision of the Chief of the Australian Army to abide by their decision. ........ The (Australian) Army also faced something of a dilemma. Under existing policy, there could be no speculative searching for remains (See previous paragraph about the 1922 agreement) Should remains be discovered, however, there were well-established procedures for recovering, identifying and, if they proved to be Commonwealth war dead, re-interring them in a suitable CWGC cemetery ...............

On that basis what occurred today is extraordinary, the first speculative search and discovery of our Great War dead since 1922. I salute Lambis and his friends for achieving this desired end, the recovery of Fromelles fallen from these mass graves. I look forward to reading of other successful Fromelles recoveries enabled by Lambis Englezos's fine research and advocacy and sped by Lambis's and his friends better understanding of the political issues arising since he first approached the Australian Army all those years ago. I also salute all of the much maligned bureaucrats and politicians of France, Great Britain and Australia who saw that it was morally correct to investigate further and do this speculative search. Most of all the Fromelles community and French people deserve our thanks for allowing the search and giving the land for a new cemetery.

I also note from a TV interview this morning that Mr Englezos has had a stroke, I do hope his recovery has been comfortable and that he doesn't exert himself with his research too much.


Cheers,
Hendo

PS: The ISBN of Mr lee's book is 9780980658293 available from www.bigskypublishing.com.au

I edited the second para of the quote to put it in the context of more recent times, not 1922 as it appeared.

#32 Peter Bennett

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:35 PM

Confused with another find?

David


Nope !

The feature was about someone from the area going to the ceremony to commemorate his relative. As no Brits have been positively identified it was very misleading.

#33 27thBN

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:35 PM

Truly humbling to watch this. Wish I were there to fully appreciate it all - be there in September.

Jonathan

Yes it was ,very well done and touching...Not quite the same watching on TV 12000 miles away as compared to being there.
Tony

#34 David Faulder

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:29 PM

On BBC Look North (West Yorkshire) this morning, some Numptie stated the bodies had been "found by a French Farmer"
obviously they had never heard of Lambis.

Words fail me..................


On PM (Radio 4) they interviewed a mother and her son and the son referred to their relative being found by a Frenchman - so my ears pricked up (not a nice image).

Turned out this was referring to 1916 when some Frenchmen found some of the casualties and removed some effects and sent them to the British/Australian authorities. I had not heard of this early identification before.

David

#35 ben

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:31 PM

I just wish that the Australians and Brits may have been more gracious in acknowledging the people of Fromelles and the contribution made by the French people and authorities towards todays ceremeomies


We french know that we will never be like you,but today we were all mixed under the beautiful summer sky to remember that they came for us to be free and were pleased that all have been done for them now resting in that perfect new cemetery .
the french really enjoy the way you make those ceremonies so beautiful !

Don't even think that here we don't mind for the sacrifice of your sons .The tv and the new's papers have done a lot to explain to the french peoples what hapeen here in Fromelles.We don't learn it at school.We'r living among cwgc cemeteries but only a few had read english books to know what happens in that part of the front line .

They can rest peacefully for ever here and you can visit us and them .
We will try to speak english and you will learn a bit of french.

#36 David Faulder

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:59 PM

We french know that we will never be like you,but today we were all mixed under the beautiful summer sky to remember that they came for us to be free and were pleased that all have been done for them now resting in that perfect new cemetery .
the french really enjoy the way you make those ceremonies so beautiful !

Don't even think that here we don't mind for the sacrifice of your sons .The tv and the new's papers have done a lot to explain to the french peoples what hapeen here in Fromelles.We don't learn it at school.We'r living among cwgc cemeteries but only a few had read english books to know what happens in that part of the front line .

They can rest peacefully for ever here and you can visit us and them .
We will try to speak english and you will learn a bit of french.

Ben

We know, although I am sad that local history is not more explicitly taught. And your English is better than most of our French!

I suspect most of our French is good enough though to understand the French inscriptions seen at the Cemeteries.
Attached File  IMG_1859(close up).JPG   18.07KB   1 downloads

David

#37 radioman

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:28 PM

Good evening all

Programme on Channel 4 at 8:00pm tonight about searching for the lost battallions- Fromelles

Regards
Brian

#38 seadog

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

Ready and waiting Brian

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#39 ianw

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:34 PM

I had the privilege of being there today in splendid weather - now a bit sunburnt!

Arriving at around 11am on the Eurostar special to Lille and thence to Fromelles by a coach cavalcade with motorcycle outriders, I went exploring hoping to to get down to Pheasant Wood but it was out of bounds - but I did chance upon the wagon with the coffin aboard. The drivers and horses were just taking a breather away from the crowds in the countryside pretty much midway between the new cemetery and the old. It was almost as if they were giving the unknown Digger (if such he was) a last outing and a farewell look towards his old home before he was moved to his new home with a Prince of the Realm marching behind him. In the picture below the wagon and team is facing towards Pheasant Wood.

The ceremony itself was very nicely done. One great moment was the extended burst of applause from the public in the field when Lambis' name was mentioned by the Governor General. As often is the case, the crowd knows best who merits most their thanks.

I can't wait to visit again when the crowds dissipate and the cemetery takes its rightful place as simply the newest of all of these magnificent places.

I have to say that the Eurostar trip there and back was superb with good knowledgeable company inc a member of this Forum. A great day.

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#40 Teebo

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:56 PM

Well I promised so photos.. I took some but I got sunstroke... I'm still KO right now...

Don't have much to share... but I'll do with what I have.

Very nice ceremony. I did a little chat with some very nice Australians. But my God, many of us suffered badly from the sun. I saw many interventions by the health staff.


I'm going to bed because I'm feeling pretty bad right now.

#41 ben

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:58 PM

More than 35 pics from the ceremony from our main newspaper site

http://photos.lavoix...2_itemId=149742

#42 seadog

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:58 PM

Watching Channel 4+1 "Lost Battalions etc" unfortunately finding myself surfing through to other programmes, always a give away! No disrespect intended it’s just me. At the bit where P Barton is explaining how the Germans identified the Brits and Aussies at night, by singing the German National Anthem! anyone who did not sing was shot. The answer to this cunning ploy is so obvious I will not detail it here.

Norman

#43 DavidB

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:30 PM

Just wonderful, and we didn't have any reporter talking through the ceremony spoiling the ceremony.

David

#44 Scotty

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:41 PM

Page 173 "......, in 1922, all the victorious governments had agreed that further active searching for war dead should cease. This was partially motivated by financial reasons - it was proving very expensive to retain graves recovery personnel in Europe. Bu the governments were also motivated by the desire to allow French and Belgian civilians in the battle zones to re-establish some semblance of normal life. Constant digging for missing soldiers and lost graves was disrupting attempts to build new infrastructure and establish new farms. .......................




Hendo,
I haven't read Mr Lee's book yet but intend to as soon as possible. I found your quote from page 173 of great interest. While there was no doubt a decision made to scale down the search for our war dead in 1922, the authorities were fully aware of the collective burial pits at Pheasant Wood as early as 1919. I have attached a document from the NAA clearly stating the existence of these pits, as well as a request to investigate the area. I still cannot understand why these graves were ignored and hundreds of families denied any closure. Scotty.

#45 cypresslodge

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:46 AM

just wish that the Australians and Brits may have been more gracious in acknowledging the people of Fromelles and the contribution made by the French people and authorities towards todays ceremeomies



I agree that this was the one thing missing from the ceremony that should of been included. When my family and I visited France last year we were touched and humbled by the care and maintenance of the cemeteries by not only CWGC staff but by the local people :) They were so hospitable and friendly and their contribution should be acknowledged. It made me feel that the men who are so far from home are truly looked after.

Ian the picture of the carriage and the coffin is stunning. Thank you for posting it :)

Cheers
Sharon



#46 ShirlD

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:12 AM

We chanced upon the live coverage on sky news last night, it was such a moving and dignified ceremony. We didnt move for an hour and a half.
We will remember them
Shirley (and Chris)

#47 River97

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:01 AM

Shirley,

I also watched it live on Sky News in Australia. My wife has never been into anything military (even though she did marry a soldier), but she sat with me and watched the entire ceremony. Tears flowed at various points and then she told me she would like to go there one day. That I never expected.

On a side note, I think it's wonderful that a random unknown soldier, whether he be Australian or British, was buried with full military honours, in the presence of royalty, during a ceremony beamed live around the world. That's beautiful. Rest in peace soldier boy, gone and not forgotten.

Cheers Andy. Posted Image

#48 Alan Tucker

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

Very moving event and well done the BBC for excellent coverage. Robert Hall always does a very good job.

A few errors were annoying.
Both the Duke of Kent (President CWGC) and the reporter on BBC News at 6 o'clock made the same mistake - first CWGC cemetery for 50 years. This should probably have been 'in Europe'. There are 14 British servicemen buried in Blue Beach Military Cemetery, San Carlos, Falkland Islands - a cemetery not listed on the CWGC web site but designed and constructed with their help. The men have a CWGC headstone.

The Aussi who did the Exhortation got the first line wrong - 'They shall not grow old'

At least one BBC report said no Brits had been identified

BTW - BBC Midlands Today did a feature on Mike Chinner from Bromsgrove who was there because of his ancestor Lt Eric Chinner Lt in the AIF - one of the identified.

#49 Yvonne Heslinga

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:17 AM

Photographs:
Fromelles Pheasant Wood 19 juli 2010 part 1 http://www.forumeers...pic.php?t=22742

Fromelles Pheasant Wood 19 juli 2010 part II http://www.forumeers...pic.php?t=22743

Regards,
Yvonne Heslinga

#50 Fedelmar

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 08:36 AM

Hendo ... did you by any chance record the ceremony on 7?

Bright Blessings
Sandra