WW1 Battle of Fromelles: Mass Grave being excavated.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BuggerAll, May 5, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    A recently discovered mass grave from the battle of Fromelles is being excavated by a joint UK Oz project. The team will attempt to id the remains and a new Commonwealth cometary is being opened for them to have proper burials.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8032908.stm


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090505/ap_on_re_eu/eu_france_wwi_graves_2

    There was quite an amusing interview with the top Oz bod on the today prog this morning.

    Interviewer: I'm here with Major Mike O'brien, Major O'brien you are the head of the Australian Fromelles Project Group is that right,

    Oz Bloke: No it isn't, I'm a Major General....

    I couldn't tell whether he was amused or irritated at the uselessness of the reptile from the BBC.
     
  2. I read that there are about 165,000 buried at no known place or missing bodies from WW1 (allied side - no idea what the German numbers are).

    So the plan to dig them up, identify and lay to rest seems a good idea to me.

    However this is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps one day the trenches in southern Iraq will get the same treatment. Should be simpler - they were just neatly bull- dozered in.
     
  3. They were laid to rest, why disturb them?
     
  4. Fair comment. It could be addressed by, ' Here Lie'.
     
  5. Laid to rest or just shovelled into the corner ?
     
  6. Presumably because the descendants want them buried in separate graves. It is also worth noting that this is the largest collection of Australian War Dead from WW1 and due respect should be shown to them and the sacrifice they made.
     
  7. Have to agree, i have two relation's, K.I.A. 1917, age 20 and 19.
     
  8. There are too many "what ifs" to leave them as is - future use of land being just one - whereas once they're under the care of the CWGC and buried in a cemetery on land donated in perpetuity, then they will be cared for forever.
     
  9. And it is the fitting end these brave souls deserve afetr paying the supreme sacrifice
     
  10. The BBC reporter last night siggested that the action was futile and uneccesary since it was a diversion for a 'push' in the Somme campaign. Is a diversion uneccesary or was the reporter talking out of his rear.
     
  11. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    With hindsight, and especially with modern attitudes it is difficult not to view many Great War actions as 'futile'. I doubt if they were seen so at the time.
     
  12. It's a war grave, if it happens to be in an inconvenient place then unlucky, the lads inside it were a bit put out too, the idea that you can just dig them up after nearly 100 years because they might be in the way is repellant.

    Leave them alone.
     
  13. They weren't quite "laid to rest". They were hastily buried in a mass grave by the Germans after the battle.

    They are being exhumed so that proper identification of the bodies can take place and they can be laid to rest in MARKED graves.
     
  14. Given this, hopefully there will be many more marked graves than has been possible before. The lists of the names on the various memorials of those with unmarked graves is heartbreaking, so if they are able to name some of these brave souls and remove their names from the memorials, it should be done.
     
  15. Apparently the Boxheads did the best they could under the tactical circumstances - so in a way they were in fact interred with respect and military honours. There is little chance that any of them will be identified (cardboard dogtags, deteriorated DNA, generational gap, etc), so mass burial under a generic headstone is not inappropriate - given the hundreds of thousands from all nations who are fragmented and lost on the battlefields.