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Bullecourt Burial Sites Found


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#51 GPR

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:13 PM

I agree Sandra, Lambis would avoid anything that was speculative and of this sort of quality.

GPR (a newbie!!!)



#52 towisuk

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:35 PM

There's certainly several shell holes marked on the Bullecourt map, so I suppose they would be a starting point for any organised ground penetrating radar search..
regards
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#53 TEW

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:16 PM

towisuk
I think 'several shell holes' is a little understating the landscape. This photo is dated 24th April 1917 and shows the SE corner of Bullecourt. On the 3rd May the area was shelled again. The Australian area is a little to the North East but would still be peppered as in this photo. Note the tank in bottom right corner (Lt Skinner's D23 796)

I may be missing something but I can't see how a ground penetrating radar survey would show anything conclusive. It would not be able to distinguish different fills and overlapping shell craters would give confusing results. Magnetometry would identify disturbances with an organic fill but would get confused by metallic objects (shell fragments, wire, casings, tank bits)
TEW
Attached File  bull.jpg   94.87KB   6 downloads

#54 towisuk

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:20 PM

The shell holes marked on the map I refer to, are to the north east of Bullecourt,
regards
Tom

#55 Jim Smithson

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:56 PM

A great deal of speculation here chaps. Perhaps it would be best to wait upon details of the documents that have been found. If they have reasonably detailed descriptions of where the burials took place then that is possibly why Lambis is so interested. Also why he is playing things cool - any word of those locations would be a target for the ghouls to descend upon.

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#56 Fedelmar

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:57 AM

I think you are being speculative here too Jim ... Lambis has not show any interest in this article. In fact he declined to comment so I would hardly view that as 'playing it cool'.

Knowing Lambis as well as I do, he would most certainly want to distance himself from a speculative and poor quality article such as this one.

A particular piece from the article was where it was stated 'any family member who cared was now dead' (or some such) most certainly grated on my nerves.

If other journalists thought there was a 'story' here, there would have been more follow up articles. It is my understanding that there was none.

Bright Blessings
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#57 Jim Smithson

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:41 PM

You are probably correct Sandra. Time maybe to let this thread go unless something concrete does turn up.

Jim

#58 ianw

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:57 AM

I think that we are all going to be getting a lot more familiar with Bullecourt over the next few years.

I note that Jean Letaille is well advanced in his planning to create a really nice new museum to house his great collection. (See link below) This in itself will put Bullecourt more firmly on the map.

Watch this space, I think.

http://www.lavoixdun...our-perpe.shtml

#59 Auimfo

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:53 PM

The shell holes marked on the map I refer to, are to the north east of Bullecourt,
regards
Tom


Tom,

What map are you referring to that indicates 'several' shell holes to the north east of Bullecourt? Any chance of a scan to give us an idea of what it shows?

Cheers,
Tim L.

#60 towisuk

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:26 PM

Hi Tim, here's a portion of a map taken from "Linesman", the "o's" symbolise "organised shell holes"
regards
Tom
Attached File  Bullecourt.JPG   92.4KB   8 downloads

#61 towisuk

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 06:23 PM

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#62 Lou Bougias

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 02:58 AM

Hi all,
Sorry I have never posted here before, but I only dicovered this forum 2 days ago.


Lambis has been working on this issue for quite some time.
Without a doubt, he has located quite a number of burials from the 1st Batlle of Bullecourt.
The Australian Government and the opposition have seen the details of these burials, as have the relatives of Major Percy Black, and it is now just a matter of either raising the funds privately to conduct a non intrusing scan, or locating corroborating German documentation to convince them to do it themselves.

The boys were definately put where we have identified, now as to the condition of the remains, or whether they were moved afterwards, no-one can say conclusively.
However, seeing that they are still missing, and yet some(but only a small percentage) of their IDENTITY DISKS were returned, chances are that they are still there, and once located, they can be immeadiately identified.
The Battle is of course called the Battle of Bullecourt, but it is important to realise that it was the British who attempted to take that village, the 7 AIF battalions were concentated further to the east,their first objective being the capture of Riencourt.

Now, just as a small indication of one of the missing and know burials that we have,
I would Iike to bring to your attention the Red Cross Missing file of 2507 Private R G W Wiese, of the 48th Battalion.
One of two brothers, of German descent, from South Australia, who fought at Bullecourt.

4755 Private Blake and 1623 Private H.G Agett M.M. both state that Wiese was left alive in a German dugout.
Agett goes so far as to say he was left in OG2 with 50 others, all wounded.
So does 1743 Thompson and 2192 Private Lee.
Wiese had a leg broken from a mortar shell.
Below is his file from the Red Cross,
http://www.awm.gov.a...037-2940404.pdf


As Lambis says, there is no intellectual porperty here, just an obligation to locate our missiong glorious dead, and give them the burial and recognition that they honourably deserve.
I very much look forward to any of your responses and assistance,
yours,
Lou Bougias

#63 Lou Bougias

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 02:58 AM

Hi all,
Sorry I have never posted here before, but I only dicovered this forum 2 days ago.


Lambis has been working on this issue for quite some time.
Without a doubt, he has located quite a number of burials from the 1st Batlle of Bullecourt.
The Australian Government and the opposition have seen the details of these burials, as have the relatives of Major Percy Black, and it is now just a matter of either raising the funds privately to conduct a non intrusing scan, or locating corroborating German documentation to convince them to do it themselves.

The boys were definately put where we have identified, now as to the condition of the remains, or whether they were moved afterwards, no-one can say conclusively.
However, seeing that they are still missing, and yet some(but only a small percentage) of their IDENTITY DISKS were returned, chances are that they are still there, and once located, they can be immeadiately identified.
The Battle is of course called the Battle of Bullecourt, but it is important to realise that it was the British who attempted to take that village, the 7 AIF battalions were concentated further to the east,their first objective being the capture of Riencourt.

Now, just as a small indication of one of the missing and know burials that we have,
I would Iike to bring to your attention the Red Cross Missing file of 2507 Private R G W Wiese, of the 48th Battalion.
One of two brothers, of German descent, from South Australia, who fought at Bullecourt.

4755 Private Blake and 1623 Private H.G Agett M.M. both state that Wiese was left alive in a German dugout.
Agett goes so far as to say he was left in OG2 with 50 others, all wounded.
So does 1743 Thompson and 2192 Private Lee.
Wiese had a leg broken from a mortar shell.
Below is his file from the Red Cross,
http://www.awm.gov.a...037-2940404.pdf


As Lambis says, there is no intellectual porperty here, just an obligation to locate our missiong glorious dead, and give them the burial and recognition that they honourably deserve.
I very much look forward to any of your responses and assistance,
yours,
Lou Bougias

#64 Anthony Staunton

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:00 PM

Lou

Welcome to the forum.


I applaud Lambis for the work he has done particularly for locating the grave of Indian Mutiny veteran Sergeant Major Charles Pye VC who died at Kirkstall, Victoria in 1876. In Australia, the Office of Australian War Graves commemorates all VC recipients who died in Australia and now maintains the grave of Charles Pye VC.

The then Imperial War Graves Commission went to great efforts to locate and identify the graves of war dead. In the 1920s every soldier who was killed was commemorated either by a grave or a memorial. There are 12,000 Australians commemorated on three memorials in France. They have not been forgotten, they have been recognized and they should be allowed to rest in peace.


You mention Major Percy Black whose death was a great loss to Australia. He was one of just eight Australians awarded both the DSO and DCM, was Mentioned in Despatches three times and awarded a foreign award. He is one of over 200,000 British and Commonwealth troops whose bodies were not recovered or if recovered not identified but he is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. He has not been forgotten.

If good evidence, as in the case of Fromelles, which is probably the most written about battle in Australian history with three chapters in the official history and a brilliant modern work by Robin Corfield, then the Australian Government will get interested.

My personal view is that all Australian war dead have been commemorated and digging up old battlefields 90 years later is not respectful.

Anthony

#65 Lou Bougias

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:14 AM

Lou

Welcome to the forum.


I applaud Lambis for the work he has done particularly for locating the grave of Indian Mutiny veteran Sergeant Major Charles Pye VC who died at Kirkstall, Victoria in 1876. In Australia, the Office of Australian War Graves commemorates all VC recipients who died in Australia and now maintains the grave of Charles Pye VC.

The then Imperial War Graves Commission went to great efforts to locate and identify the graves of war dead. In the 1920s every soldier who was killed was commemorated either by a grave or a memorial. There are 12,000 Australians commemorated on three memorials in France. They have not been forgotten, they have been recognized and they should be allowed to rest in peace.


You mention Major Percy Black whose death was a great loss to Australia. He was one of just eight Australians awarded both the DSO and DCM, was Mentioned in Despatches three times and awarded a foreign award. He is one of over 200,000 British and Commonwealth troops whose bodies were not recovered or if recovered not identified but he is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. He has not been forgotten.

If good evidence, as in the case of Fromelles, which is probably the most written about battle in Australian history with three chapters in the official history and a brilliant modern work by Robin Corfield, then the Australian Government will get interested.

My personal view is that all Australian war dead have been commemorated and digging up old battlefields 90 years later is not respectful.

Anthony



Hi Anthony, thank you for the response.
You are totally correct that our glorious dead have been recognised and honoured by us on the three great memorials, but I, like many others, believe that if we can find the missing, we should honour them appropriately by both laying then to REST and giving them a named resting place.
Aside from the debt of honour we owe them, we must ensure that our troops currently fighting overseas know that we treat their forebears the same way we treat them, and that we will not ever set a precedent of denying any soldier,airman or sailor a proper grave.
Whether in France, Afghanistan or anywhere else.


Lambis is a great Australian whose work, although recognised, deserves much more public accolade and support in his honourable endeavours, and if this Nation was to ever restore its Knighthoods, his name should be one of the first ever nominated.
Frommelles has only become one of the most written about battles because of the efforts of "Team Lambis", prior to 10 years ago it was almost unknown and discussed.

If you recall, our Goverment did not move on the Fromelles issue until Lambis had discovered the German Commanding General's order to dig burial pits for 400 Allied dead.

There exists in Germany in depth documentation about the fateful battle of 1st Bullecourt, that has never EVER, been examined by Australian historians, and only briefly by German ones.
As an example, I know from the keeper of these records, that there is no evidence that our eminent historian C.W.Bean visited or examined them, and
our War Memorial's records state,

"Although Bean focussed his writing on the experiences of front line soldiers, the following table shows that he covered the operations of 1917 less fully than those of any other part of the war"

None of the twelve volumes of the Official Histories, however, treat so much so briefly as that for 1917.
Even among the six volumes dealing with the Australian infantry, 1917, is relatively neglected.
Although Bean focussed his writing on the experiences of front line soldiers, the following table shows that he covered the operations of 1917 less fully than those of any other part of the war:

No of volumes Period covered Approximate period in front line (months)
2 August 1914 – December 1915 8
1 January – December 1916 7
1 January – November 1917 11
1 December 1917 – May 1918 3
1 May – November 1918 5



Yet in 1917 the AIF suffered its worst defeat, lost most prisoners, lost most casualties in a single battle, and probably suffered more casualties than in any other year of the war.
1917 was also significant in the development of the AIF front line experience: it provided the first clear evidence of that professionalism which was to flower so brilliantly in Australian operations in 1918.
Finally 1917 was important to Bean: he tells us (p. xxxii) that the compilation of this volume, more than any other, proved the necessity of investigating front line experience in order to discover what actually happened in war, and in 1917 he found at Hermies in April, the first occasion in Australian experience in which a major operation went according to plan.
So 1917 was significant for the AIF, and for what Bean wanted to say about the conduct of war and about writing military history. Why did he treat it relatively lightly?
The 1917 volume was written during the Depression, between 1929 and 1932, which may have restricted Bean’s ability to gather material, but by 1929 he had assembled most of his evidence, and the events of 1917 had been limited to one volume at least by March 1919. It is just possible that Bean was not allowed to write two 1917 volumes at the expense of combining Volumes VIII, IX and X, as would have more proportionately reflected the Australian war effort, but so far as is known he had a free hand in planning his history. There are, however, signs that Bean found 1917 difficult to write about."
Below is the link,
http://www.awm.gov.a...ntroduction.asp

With the information that is currently known about, a search is definately justified, and if it was made public, I am certain you and many others would be writing to Air Marshall Houston respectfully requesting he allocate the funds for a small non intrusive search,

If, the German records are as indicative of Lambis' Fromelles ones, I believe that EVERYONE especially the families of the 46th,47th,48th 13th 14th 15th and Major Black's 16th Battalions would be respectfully DEMANDING one.


I look forward to your reply.
Lou Bougias



#66 Lou Bougias

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 04:41 AM

Hi Antony,
I am unable to read your message for some reason, maybe I havent got the facility established yet, or I am a computer illiterate.
Anyway, email me on loubougias@gmail.com

cheers,
Lou Bougias

#67 Bardess

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 04:50 AM

Hi Lou and welcome. The magic number for unlocking the PM system is 5 posts. Reply to this and you will have access. BTW I would delete the email address in your last post [you just never know!]

#68 Lou Bougias

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 05:12 AM

Hi Lou and welcome. The magic number for unlocking the PM system is 5 posts. Reply to this and you will have access. BTW I would delete the email address in your last post [you just never know!]


Hello, I just set the new email address up for this forum, so I'll delete it shortly.
Thank you for your warm greetings!
Lou

#69 Auimfo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:03 AM

Lou,

I just checked the Red Cross file for 2507 Rynhold Wiese, 48th Battalion and am somewhat unsure what point you are trying to make from that. Quite clearly the reports of Blake, Agett, Thompson and Lee all state that 'Wiese' had a fractured leg and was left in a dug-out somewhere near the German front lines. But what you either haven't noticed or mentioned is the letter in the file from his brother 2294 Carl Wiese also of the 48th Bn. Carl states that he was with Rynhold when the trench mortar shell exploded and that he believes all the reports i.e. Blake, Agett etc. refer to him and not his brother. It is also interesting to note that Carl states he had been with the battalion for quite a while and known to many men whereas Rynhold was fairly new and not so well known. This implies that he didn't think all the men who provided statements would know Rynhold but they would know him.

But the real crunch comes when you examine the service file of Carl Wiese. It quite clearly shows he was wounded in the left leg at Bullecourt and taken prisoner by the Germans. I suspect Carl was right and all the Red Cross reports were referring to him and not his brother Rynhold.

Cheers,
Tim L.

#70 Lou Bougias

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:14 AM

Lou,

I just checked the Red Cross file for 2507 Rynhold Wiese, 48th Battalion and am somewhat unsure what point you are trying to make from that. Quite clearly the reports of Blake, Agett, Thompson and Lee all state that 'Wiese' had a fractured leg and was left in a dug-out somewhere near the German front lines. But what you either haven't noticed or mentioned is the letter in the file from his brother 2294 Carl Wiese also of the 48th Bn. Carl states that he was with Rynhold when the trench mortar shell exploded and that he believes all the reports i.e. Blake, Agett etc. refer to him and not his brother. It is also interesting to note that Carl states he had been with the battalion for quite a while and known to many men whereas Rynhold was fairly new and not so well known. This implies that he didn't think all the men who provided statements would know Rynhold but they would know him.

But the real crunch comes when you examine the service file of Carl Wiese. It quite clearly shows he was wounded in the left leg at Bullecourt and taken prisoner by the Germans. I suspect Carl was right and all the Red Cross reports were referring to him and not his brother Rynhold.

Cheers,
Tim L.


Hi Tim,
Carl was wounded in one leg and left in OG2 when the 48th Battalion retreated.
Rynhold was wounded in both legs AFTER his brother was wounded, and left in a dugout with 50 other wounded, somewhere near the intersection of OG2 and communication trench, 2nd to the WEST of Central Rd.
In Peter Pedersen's book "The Anzacs" he states "that the Wurttembergers shot the dying". page 205, and that particular dugout MUST have been where the more seriously wounded 48th men were taken during the defence of OG2.
Mind you, in that very same paragraph Pedersen also states that Capt.Harry Murray found Major Percy Black's body.

cheers,
Lou

#71 Lou Bougias

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:25 AM

I hate spelling mistakes, its Reinhold, not Rynhold, sorry!!.
Its a shame Private Harry Hewish hasn't left a statement of his own.

#72 Auimfo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:28 AM

Lou,

Well you can blame the spelling mistake on those who typed the Embarkation Roll at the time - on there he's listed with an 'Ry'. But I'm more than happy to agree it's meant to be Reinhold.

I'm still a bit confused about what you're trying to imply from the Red Cross records and am unsure how you came across the information that Reinhold was wounded in 'both' legs 'after' Carl?

The only mention of one of the Wiese brothers being wounded in both legs is from one of Blake's accounts but in his earlier account he clearly stated that Wiese was wounded in only one leg which was broken in two places.

Then there is the following coincidence to consider:

Blake - 7th Platoon
On several occasions in his accounts states he is talking about the Wiese from 7th Platoon

Agett - 7th Platoon
His account appears in the Red Cross Record of both brothers. He states he was told by Pte Hewish (also 7th Platoon) that he found one of the Wiese brothers wounded and placed him in a dugout with about 50 others.

Howe - 7th Platoon
Howe gave an account in the Red Cross Record of Carl Wiese. In it he states he saw Carl in a dugout with a broken leg.

And the facts are known that Carl was in 7th Platoon whereas Reinhold was in 4th Platoon. It still seems to me that all these accounts of a Wiese being placed in a dugout with 50 others are talking about Carl and not Reinhold.

Cheers,
Tim L.

#73 Lou Bougias

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:38 AM

Tim,
You know the circumstances,
Not one man from Reinhold's platoon recorded anything about his death,,or did they and the statements arent there?
The file you have read is not the only file.
I believe you may know Lambis quite well, and that he has referred you to the source material,
You know Reinhold was seriously injured and unable to walk, hence probably executed.
Wiese is just 1 example I used to indicate that there are unexplained MIA's from the battle that we have not yet searched for, and yet we may know where they are,
Just like the body that was unearthed by a local farmer and hastily reburied in silence at the same spot by the local Gendarmes.

Lou.

#74 Auimfo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

Actually Lou, yes I know Lambis very well and have worked with him on the Fromelles investigation but I'm still finishing off some research on that and haven't yet turned my attentions to anything regarding Bullecourt. Hence, other than some quite general discussions with Lambis, he hasn't referred me to any specific material about anything to do with Bullecourt.

I'm purely basing my assessments here on the documentary evidence you have indicated and I'm afraid that unless there's more information somewhere you haven't mentioned, the facts surrounding Reinhold Wiese don't suggest any more than he's missing in action.

You also seem to be suggesting some kind of 'conspiracy' regarding the fact that none of Reinhold's platoon made statements (please correct me if I misunderstood your implication). In my experience, to try and use suspicions of a conspiracy to explain why something doesn't support your theory is fraught with problems and usually indicates a lack of concrete evidence.

Cheers,
Tim L.

#75 Lou Bougias

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

Hi Tim,
I read the Reinhold file as saying that he was left in a dugout that acted as a temporary aid station, and with other information that exists,indicates that he was one of the 150-200 buried on the battle field that day, with his identity disks still on him.
The evidence is actually quite strong about the burials.
1128 Australians were captured that day, and 107 left statements after the war.
All the statements are in the AWM.
It is interesting to know that although we were fairly adamant on recording POW's statements after the war, this particular battle (ie 1st Bullecourt) is missing 90% of its statements.That alone is a "smoking gun" to indicate that there is something untoward here.

As you would be famiiar, the units that the Australian Government created to search for the missing after the war had a tremendours amount of difficulty and were dismissed and reformed at least 2 times. Much information that did exist was either misplaced or destroyed.
Quite a number of our missing soldiers' had their identity disks returned to the AIF by the German Red Cross after the battle,and we still have not searched nor identified their graves, even though the army was also sent locations and some references.
I do beleive that there has been a deliberate attempt not to look for our "glorious dead", originally due to the lack of planning and organization, and later on due to the cost.
You would be familiar that 6 British bodies were inadvertantly found in Bullecourt town itself 2 years ago, and they were quickly reburied without much fanfair or conducting a proper search for more.
The German division we fought against that day, and all its sub units, kept meticulous records that still exist and yet never have we examined them to see what else may be there.
As you may recall, our Government never acted on the Fromelles dead until Lambis discovered the German Commanding Genral's order to dig burial pits for 4090 Allied dead.
Cheers,
Lou