Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
velo350

Fromelles16: July 19th events

Recommended Posts

Paul Treclyn

Archaeologically speaking, the scattered remains of men killed and left unburied may be jumbled up in the stratigraphy of the area, but the single act of burying the dead in specific pits by the Germans should provide sealed contexts with little confusion caused by earlier or later events... unless the pits themselves were shelled, redug or ploughed up at a later date. I would think that the main burials - if they're there - should be very distinctive and quite possibly include the evidence needed to identify at least some of those interred.

My guess would be that the various skulls and bones shown in the photograph above would have been picked up and buried in a different and equally distinctive grave at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
towisuk

As far as I am aware, the bodies were loaded (by the Germans) not long after the battle, onto wagons which ran on a light railway that cut through the corner of Pheasant wood adjacent to the pits. So the bodies buried in the mass graves will be in a more complete skeletal state than any that had lain out for any cosiderable time in no mans land.

Amazing looking at some of the accounts in newspapers etc how they get things wrong, the impression some give is that they are doing a full excavation to remove the bodies, not so, its just a prelimiinary dig to ascertain the number of bodies that may be buried there.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Denham

Good point, Tom

The CWGC website specifically says that no remains will be recovered during these operations.

"The aim of the limited excavation is to confirm, or otherwise, the presence of human remains at the site and to determine their condition. There will be no recovery of remains, should they be discovered, during this limited excavation phase of the investigation."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KevinEndon

The news today 02/06/08 is confirming that human remains have been found in 5 of the test pits. Only time will tell if the are to be exhumed and reburied in an existing cemetery or they stay in place and a new cemetery/memorial built round them. I am just delighted that some peoples hard work trying to find this spot has been rewarded with such positive searches.

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clio

For very understandable reasons, Australian involvement tends to dominate TV coverage of Fromelles but I hope the BBC dont overlook that fact that many British lives were lost here too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michel knockaert

I had two extraordinary chances today, enter the excavation site of "phaesant wood" and meet Lambis Englezos ...

He gave me the mission to inform Sandra, Andrew and Tim that "all is good"...!

I will post other pictures tonight.

Michel

post-10155-1212418109.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
towisuk

Thank you for that Michel....I see lambis is now ok to enter the secure compound.

regards

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
robbie
Good point, Tom

The CWGC website specifically says that no remains will be recovered during these operations.

"The aim of the limited excavation is to confirm, or otherwise, the presence of human remains at the site and to determine their condition. There will be no recovery of remains, should they be discovered, during this limited excavation phase of the investigation."

teryr did you see the BBC morning program this morning? the message was that decisions will now be made as to what to do with anyting recovered including bones. perhaps the CWGC's site has not been updated as yet. R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Denham

I suspect that comment was simply media talk.

The governments concerned will make their decision in due course and I doubt that the BBC or any other media organisation will be party to the discussions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chrisharley9

I personally believe that a new memorial/cemetery will be unlikely as I think there may be French ban on new memorials - others I hope will be able to give chapter & verse

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pietro

Might have been already mentioned, but I see there are a couple of reports on it on the ABC site - www.abc.net.au

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ozzie

Thanks Michel, a picture speaks a thousand words.

As for governments and departments, I hope this does not dissolve into a bureaucratic bungle.

The conditions that applied during, and after the war, in relation to the burial of war dead, by the Allies, should also apply to this site. They died back then, so the same conditions of burial should apply to them now.

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tripit
I am planning to visit the Fromelles battlefield on the anniversary of the battle, 19th July. I would be interested to know if anyone is planning to visit this year?

HI se you are going to fromells ,if i can get my granddaugther to go so will i ,(if any spelling wrong sorry ) Have my great grand father lost missing in that area . s hope to find any more info liv in hopes she can have time of work mid . this month she do`s a good job discribing to me if any one there about mid month on a lead that will be me

cossack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joseph

Hi,

Has any other site where human remains have been found, not been investigated to try and find out thier identity? I would think the French Police had a duty of care to investigate all human remains.

Regards Charles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Milner

Maybe its just to early, but does anyone know if any tv documentaries being planned to follow this discovery?

I'm sure it would make a great historical program, as long as the remains of these men are treated with the respect they deserve.

Regards

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sarge2871

just off the phone with Martial Delebarre. Nothing on site as yet to determine the ID of remains found but this will happen in due process, ie: tunic buttons, belt buckles etc.. There is a strong hint that the site may well become the final resting place for the fallen making them commrades in arms, as intended by the Germans, forever. Word is that the local inhabitants of Fromelles do not want machinery working the land any longer now they know that it is hallowed ground. Which ever way things go this investigation could go on for as long as 2yrs. After which, having spoken with Martial, I believe we may see the site become a permanent CWWG site. Pit 8 has been dug to confirm that it is empty and the land has not been disturbed since the war ended.

Regards to all on site

Colin Stalgis (Sarge)

In memoriam: Cpl Gregory Francis Stalgis 14th Machine Gun Corps, KIA 19th/20th July, 1916, Fromelles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Victoria Burbidge
He gave me the mission to inform Sandra, Andrew and Tim that "all is good"

Sorry Michel - beat you to it. :D

V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fedelmar

Wonderful to see Lambis looking so well :)

For those wishing to know the names of the Australian soldiers, they are able to view them at this site:

http://www.fromelles.net/

People can contact Tim or myself if they have any information on these men. We are busy working on the family history to trace descendants. We will pass on the information that has been collated to the Army History Unit once we have finished.

So far the success rate to trace living family has been very successful.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Auimfo

Thanks Michel for the message from Lambis - said in the true Lambis way!

I've got to admit I'm envious of you managing to get a look inside at the excavation, I'm sure it would be absolutely fascinating.

Sandra has already given our research and website a plug above so there's no need for me to go into great detail except to say that no matter what my personal opinions are, the group doing the research has no stance regarding exhumation, identification or DNA sampling. We basically believe that before any decision can be made, the families of the missing men need to be consulted as do scientists, government departments and of course the Fromelles inhabitants.

All we hope is that the issues can be resolved in an expedient manner so the most appropriate result can be achieved in a timely fashion. As Kim said above, we don't want to see this dissolve into a tangled bureaucratic web of confusion. The men themselves deserve far more respect than that.

One thing that has amazed me during our research. Of the countless number of descendants who have been in contact with us, almost all of them knew a great deal about their missing relative. In many cases that man had become like a 'family legend' and from what they have been saying, the loss of this ancestor and the uncertainty surrounding his fate had repercussions that are still being felt by the families today. Thus far it has been somewhat of an emotional project and I'm sure Sandra and I have both experienced tears of both grief and joy from a generation who never even knew these men.

Finally, Colin (Sarge) or Michel, if you are speaking to Lambis or Martial agin could you pass on the message that currently we have discovered two more Australians who are almost certainly buried at Pheasant Wood, taking the number from 173 to 175.

Cheers,

Tim L.

Fromelles Missing Database

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PBI

post-7805-1212473826.jpgpost-7805-1212473684.jpg

In Photo 1,The Dead have had their Boots Removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PBI
I ask myself if these are humain remains found in former no mansland during the German offensive in 1918, or casualties of this 1918 Offensive, or are these burials of 1917, disturbed by shell fire.

Cnock

I would think Cnock,that these remains were most probably found after a Battlefield Clearance,as they have all been consolidated into a Group,if the remains had been disturbed by Shell Fire i would have expected them to be spread over a Far Greater Area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TGWW

I'm not sure that I quite see the significance yet of the so called "finds" at the Fromelles site?

A hand and an arm to date I believe? Plus "some remains".

Surely I'd probably find the same if I dug a big hole on just about any part of the line in the main push and pull battle areas of the front.

Doesn't this "dig" only beome interesting if 20 or 30 bodies in a single "pit" are found? Until then aren't what have been found so far just the expected detritus of a very bloody conflict? (and I absolutely accept the human validity of these remains meaning something to someone ... but that's not the real point of this "dig" is it?)

I've probably missed something and look forward to being enlightened so I can understand the excitement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michel knockaert

"Finally, Colin (Sarge) or Michel, if you are speaking to Lambis or Martial agin could you pass on the message that currently we have discovered two more Australians who are almost certainly buried at Pheasant Wood, taking the number from 173 to 175. "

Bonjour Tim,

the message was passed to Martial in the early afternoon.

Très amicalement

Michel

On the left M. Huber Huchette the Major of Fromelles, on the right Martial with a member of the GUARD, yesterday morning on the site.

post-10155-1212498219.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michel knockaert

"I've got to admit I'm envious of you managing to get a look inside at the excavation, I'm sure it would be absolutely fascinating."

Tim,

you are right, it was really fascinating and impressive...

Michel

post-10155-1212498574.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×