Plans for First War Cemetery to be Built in Fifty Years Made PublicBy Prne, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
MAIDENHEAD, England - With Photo
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission today announced plans and released designs for the first war cemetery to be built by the Commission for almost fifty years.
The new cemetery, to be known as Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, will be used to re-inter with dignity the remains of up to 400 Australian and British servicemen who died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916. The remains of these men currently lie in a number of newly-discovered mass graves at Pheasant Wood in the village of Fromelles.
The Commission’s Director-General, Richard Kellaway CBE said: “We are pleased to make public our plans to commemorate with dignity those brave men who died at Fromelles in July 1916. Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery will be worthy of the sacrifices they made and will become a place of dignified pilgrimage and remembrance for generations to come.”
Work on the new cemetery will begin in May 2009 and will be completed by December. The cemetery will be built to the same high standards as the Commission’s existing First World War memorials and cemeteries in France - using similar materials and horticulture - but taking account of modern construction methods and accessibility requirements.
The location for the new cemetery has been decided after much careful deliberation by the Commission’s horticultural and structural experts and following discussions with the people of Fromelles, and the Australian, British and French authorities.
A virtual image of how the cemetery will look upon completion is available from the Commission’s press office.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of those members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, for building and maintaining memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and for providing records and registers of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations found in most countries around the world. For more information visit www.cwgc.org
2. Background to Fromelles Operation
The Battle of Fromelles began on 19 July 1916 and was the first major battle on the Western Front involving Australian troops.
Within a twenty-four hour period the 5th Australian Division had suffered 5,533 casualties, of which 1,780 were killed, and the 61st British Division suffered the loss of 1,547 men killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
The group burial at Pheasant Wood was confirmed during a limited excavation in May 2008. It is believed up to 400 Australian and British soldiers still lie at this site where they were buried by German forces in the days immediately after the battle.
A full archaeological excavation of the site and individual re-interment of remains in the new Commonwealth War Cemetery at Fromelles is scheduled to commence in May 2009. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is overseeing the work on behalf of both the Australian and British Governments.
A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from www.pa-mediapoint.press.net or viewed at www.mediapoint.press.net or www.prnewswire.co.uk.
For further information, please contact David Stacey on +44(0)1628-507147 or by email at email@example.com
Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
For further information, please contact David Stacey on +44(0)1628-507147 or by email at david.stacey at cwgc.org
Tags: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, England, France, French, Maidenhead, United Kingdom