Australia will honour the service and sacrifice of our First World War soldiers this week at the centenary commemorations for the battles of Fromelles and Pozières.
The Battle of Fromelles (19 July, 1916) was the first major engagement by Australian soldiers on the Western Front where the Australian 5th Division suffered 5,533 casualties in just 24 hours — Australia’s bloodiest single day in military history.
The Battle of Pozières (23 July to 3 September 1916) involved three further Australian Divisions capturing and holding the village of Pozières and launching 19 attacks.
Almost 300,000 Australians served on the Western Front, where 45,000 lost their lives and more than one-third of those have no known grave.
A commemorative service on Tuesday (19 July) at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery will mark the start of a series of 100-year anniversaries of battles involving Australians on the Western Front. This will include a Headstone Dedication for six soldiers whose remains were identified by the Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties Fromelles project team.
On Saturday (23 July), a service will be conducted at the site of the 1st Australian Division Memorial, Pozières and the remains of three unknown soldiers will be reinterred with full military honours.
National President, Rod White is representing the RSL at these commemorations.