Oxford Archaeology Report now available

remember me to all -cover

‘Remember Me To All’: The archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died in the battle of Fromelles 1916. Hardcover– July 16, 2014

by Louise Loe, Caroline Baker, Kate Brady, Margaret Cox and Helen Webb (authors) with significant contributions to the Anthropological and Identification chapters by FFFAIF member Professor Richard Wright AM.

This work is a comprehensive report on the Pheasant Wood Archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Now available at:



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Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Dear Editor,

This Remembrance Day, Tuesday 11 November, Australians across the nation and around the world will pause at 11am for one minute’s silence to remember the sacrifice of those who have served in our country’s uniform during times of war and conflict.

We remember and pay special tribute to the more than 102,000 Australians who have lost their lives in war, in conflict and on peacekeeping operations. We think, too, of those who returned from the battle fields carrying the scars of their service and the families who care for them.

Our current serving members who are away from their loved ones, are also in our thoughts and we thank them for their service.

I encourage all Australians to pause for reflection at 11am, to wear a red poppy and, if possible, attend a commemoration ceremony in your local community. Remembrance Day is a time for all of us to reflect on a century of service and sacrifice. This year marks the beginning of the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac, recognising a century of service.

Purchasing a poppy contributes significantly to the fundraising work of the Returned and Services League (RSL). The money raised helps to provide financial and medical assistance, as well as advocacy and support services to current and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

Should you require help to conduct a Remembrance Day ceremony, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has a range of freely available resources to assist you, including a step-by-step guide to running a ceremony, and accompanying audio files such as the National Anthem and the Last Post. As it does each year for Remembrance Day, the Department has also produced a commemorative poster, which this year focuses on the departure of the first troop convoy from Albany in 1914. All of these resources are available on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au/remembranceday.htm

Lest we forget.

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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2014 Annual General Meeting



The AGM this year will be held on
Saturday 11th October, 2014.

Registration from 2:15pm

Meeting Commences: 2:30pm

Venue: Penrith RSL Club
8 Tindale Street
Penrith NSW

RSVP: 03/10/2014

Financial Members: If you are attending the AGM, please email secretary@fffaif.org.au or phone 0401 467 819 or write to the Secretary (address below) by close of business on 3rd October 2014. For further details see DIGGER 48, which will soon arrive in your mail box.

If you haven’t renewed your membership, there is still time before the AGM. Please contact the Secretary, by email secretary@fffaif.org.au or by phone 0401 467 819 or in writing to:

The Secretary FFFAIF Inc
PO Box 4208
Oatley West
NSW 2223

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Historian Peter Barton @ Memorial Lecture

Peter Barton, battlefield archaeologist and film maker is visiting Australia to launch his latest book The Lost Legions of Fromelles.

Peter will make a guest appearance at the 2014 John Laffin Memorial lecture at 10.00am Sunday 29 June at Harbord Diggers.

The Lost Legions of Fromelles

You can also catch Peter in Sydney on:

Monday, 30 June 2014, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue: Tom Keneally Centre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt Street


Thursday, 3 July, 6 – 7.30 pm
Venue: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street


Friday, 4 July, 1 – 2 pm
Venue: Stanton Library,
234 Miller Street
North Sydney

In Canberra on:

Tuesday, 1 July, 1:00pm
Australian War Memorial
BAE Systems Theatre

In Melbourne on:

Wednesday 2 July, 6:00 pm for 6:30 start
Hellenic RSL
14a Ferrars Place (off Cecil St)
South Melbourne

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2014 John Laffin Memorial Lecture

Members and their guests are invited to
Sunday, 29 June 2014

Speakers:The John Laffin Memorial Lecture.

Jim Munro: The Road to the Great War.

Richard Wright: Not by DNA alone: the role of archaeology and anthropology at the Pheasant Wood mass graves, Fromelles.

Special guest appearance by historian and author Peter Barton, author of the recently published The Lost Legions of Fromelles

 10 AM for 10:30 start at Harbord Diggers.
66-78 Evans Street
Freshwater NSW 2096

On-site car parking is available.

Entry: $15 per head for morning tea, a light lunch and afternoon tea.

RSVP: by Friday, 20 June to

FFFAIF is pleased to announce two lectures for the John Laffin Memorial Lecture series for 2014. The Lectures commemorate the contribution of the founder of the FFFAIF, Australian military historian John Laffin.

FFFAIF Vice President Jim Munro will explore The Road to the Great War outlining the processes for preserving peace, the alliances, and war planning of the major European powers. This presentation coincides with the centenary of the assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Countess Sophie in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Serbian nationalist.

FFFAIF Member Richard Wright AM, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sydney will speak on the role of Archaeology and Anthropology during the Pheasant Wood exhumations and subsequent efforts at making identifications. Richard will draw on his specialised forensic experiences with archaeological techniques used in investigations in the Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia as well as those used in his role as Senior Forensic Adviser to Oxford Archaeology during the Pheasant Wood mass graves exhumation and investigation at Fromelles

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New Patron-in-Chief for FFFAIF


[Biographies and photos courtesy http://www.gg.gov.au/gg-bio-cosgrove ]

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, has accepted our invitation and agreed to become FFFAIF Patron-in-Chief, succeeding the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO. Thank you, Sir Peter, for granting us this honour and welcome to our association.

Peter Cosgrove was born in Sydney in 1947. The son of a soldier, he attended Waverley College in Sydney and graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

Early in his military career, he fought in Vietnam, commanding a rifle platoon. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1971 for his performance and leadership during an assault on enemy positions.

He was named Australian of the Year in 2001. His autobiography “My Story” was published in 2006. (It is a great read [Ed].)

Sir Peter served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002-2005. He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005.

An avid sports follower, General Sir Peter Cosgrove takes particular interest in rugby and cricket.

He and his wife Lady Cosgrove have three adult sons and one grandson.

Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove


Lynne Cosgrove (née Payne) was born and raised in Sydney’s southern suburbs.
She met Peter Cosgrove in early 1975 and they married in 1976.
During Sir Peter’s long military career, she accompanied him on postings throughout Australia and in several overseas countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom and India.
Lady Cosgrove has been actively involved in the welfare of partners in the defence community and became the inaugural Patron of Partners of Veterans Australia.
She has worked with numerous voluntary organisations supporting aged and disabled people, and endangered Australian wildlife.
Her personal interests include art and architecture, nature and gardens, and she is a keen sports follower.

More details at: http://www.gg.gov.au/gg-bio-cosgrove


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More identified from Fromelles

On 26 May 2014 the Assistant Minister for Defence, The Hon Stuart Robert MP, announced the names of a further 20 previously unidentified Australian soldiers who died at the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.

Sgt David Anderson2560 Sgt David Samuel Anderson was amongst the soldiers recently identified

The latest diggers to be identified are:
Private John Edwin Crocker *, 32nd Battalion AIF, Adelaide;
Private Ernest Robert Oliver, 29th Battalion, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria;
Private Percy Weakley *, 31st Battalion, Adelaide;
Private Gordon Thomas Smith, 29th Battalion, Buxton, Victoria;
Private Archie McDonald *, 31st Battalion, Wyrallah, NSW;
Private Adolf Thompson Knable *, 32nd Battalion, Melbourne;
Private Edgar William Parham *, 32nd Battalion, Gawler, SA;
Private Vintam Battan Baker *, 55th Battalion, Sydney;
Private Willie Hilton Doust, 54th Battalion, Lower Southgate, NSW;
Private William Thomas Connolly, 54th Battalion, Durraga, NSW;
Private Herbert Newey St Smith, 55th Battalion, Tumbarumba, NSW;
Private Albert Williamson *, 54th Battalion, Canowindra, NSW;
Private Sidney John Gray, 54th Battalion, Goulburn, NSW;
Lance Corporal Frederic James Glenn, 30th Battalion, Redfern, NSW;
Corporal Joseph Edward Lee *, 60th Battalion, Pimpinio, Victoria;
Sergeant Jack Marchmont Campbell *, 54th Battalion, Glasgow, Scotland;
Sergeant David Samuel Anderson *, 54th Battalion, Bergalia, NSW;
Company Sergeant Major Harold George Woodman, 31st Battalion, South Yarra, Victoria;
Company Sergeant Major William Henry Christian Rose, 55th Battalion, Rockdale, NSW;
2nd Lieutenant Reginald Theodore Griffen *, 32nd Battalion, Riverton, SA.

* Photos of these soldiers can be seen here.

In May 2009 Oxford Archaeology started the exhumation of the remains of 250 missing soldiers from the Battle of Fromelles from a mass grave adjacent to Pheasant Wood, Fromelles. The first identifications took place that year with the aid of archaeological evidence along with DNA samples from descendants.
The naming of these 20 diggers brings the total of identified soldiers to 144.

To read the Minister’s announcement in detail click here.

To read more about:
Private Albert Williamson click here.
Private Herbert Newey St Smith click here.

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anzacdayAnzac Day 2014 commemorates the 99th anniversary of the landing of troops at Gallipoli.

Anzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity. (AWM http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/ )


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New $1 Anzac Coin

13 February 2014:


Centenary Anzac dollar_website

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Steven Ciobo MP, today unveiled a new $1 circulating 2014 coin featuring the Centenary of Anzac logo and produced by the Royal Australian Mint.

The special commemorative 2014 $1 circulating coin features the official logo of the Anzac Centenary, including the image of an Australian soldier, head bowed and rifle reversed in solemn reflection and the words ‘100 Years of Anzac – The Spirit Lives’. The coin is rimmed with a motif reflecting the sun’s rays as captured on the Australian Army’s Rising Sun badge.

Senator Ronaldson said the Anzac Centenary would be one of the most important commemorations in Australia’s history and it was fitting that the Royal Australian Mint had created this coin.

“The Centenary of Anzac will be one of the most defining moments in our nations’ story and the creation of a coin is a permanent way to reflect on and remember this commemorative period,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“I am delighted that the Mint has chosen to feature the Centenary of Anzac logo on the 2014 circulating coin.”

Mr Ciobo said introducing this coin into circulation would mean that for many years to come these coins would pass through the hands of thousands of Australians.

“Every time someone looks at this coin it will remind them of the service and sacrifice of our past and present Australian Defence Force members. In particular, of those who died in the First World War,” Mr Ciobo said.

Students from St Andrew’s Primary School in Werribee attended the launch and were presented with coins.

Royal Australian Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid, said the Mint had a proud tradition of commemorating Australian military history with the production of a coin and the 2014 $1 ‘100 Years of Anzac – The Spirit Lives’ circulating coin would add to that.

“The Anzac Spirit has long been invoked as part of the essence of what it is to be Australian. The Anzac Centenary reminds us all that it is a living spirit and this coin captures aspects of that spirit in a permanent form,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

For more information about or an image of the 2014 $1 Century of Service circulating coin please visit www.ramint.gov.au or contact below.


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Gallipoli Ballot – What next?

Gallipoli ballot logos_website

Information from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs released Sunday, 2 February 2014:


42,582 applications were received from Australians planning to attend the Dawn Service at Gallipoli in 2015, marking 100 years since the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops during the First World War.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said the government’s contracted ticket provider would now begin the process of confirming applications.

“Ticketek will review and remove any duplicate, incomplete or incorrect applications before the ballot is drawn. The ballot draw is automated and comprises of four cascades, providing some preference for direct descendants and veterans with qualifying or overseas service,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Outside the ballot, there are places for Australian First World War widows who will be included as part of Australia ’s official representative group and 400 places for secondary school children and their chaperones.”

Senator Ronaldson said all ballot applicants, successful and unsuccessful, will be notified of the outcome before Anzac Day 2014.

“Successful applicants are encouraged to make and pay for all travel arrangements as soon as they receive confirmation of their success in the ballot. This needs to include flights, accommodation, transport and travel insurance. Proof of travel such as an airline ticket or tour package must be provided to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by 25 October 2014 in order to receive attendance passes,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Those who are unsuccessful, and who elected to be on the waitlist, will be notified of any passes that may become available from those who can no longer attend, up until 31 March 2015.

“Alternatively, unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to visit Gallipoli at another time in 2015, attend another Anzac Day service overseas such as Villers-Bretonneux in France , or watch the broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services live on the ABC on Anzac Day.”

Senator Ronaldson said a full program of activities would be rolled out over the Anzac Centenary period 2014-2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of Australia ’s involvement in the First World War. He encouraged communities across Australia to get involved by applying to their local federal Member of Parliament for funding under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. There is funding of up to $125,000 per electorate which needs to be applied for before 30 May 2014.

For more information on Gallipoli 2015 visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au or the Anzac Centenary visit www.anzaccentenary.gov.au

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell6277 7820 or 0417 917 796

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Ballot System Cascade

The ballot will operate in four cascades (omitting widows of Australian First World veterans and 200 double passes (400 places) for secondary school students and their chaperones to be distributed outside the ballot.)

Cascade Inclusion in ballot Outcome Unsuccessful applicants


Applicants who have indicated “Direct Descendent” with preference to first generation – sons and daughters 400 double passes (800 passes) Those who have also indicated “Veteran” go to 2nd cascade. Those who haven’t go to 3rd cascade


Applicants who have indicated “Veteran” 400 double passes (800 passes) Go to 3rd cascade


Applicants who haven’t indicated either “Direct Descendent” or “Veteran” (i.e. the Australian public), plus unsuccessful applicants from 1st & 2nd cascades 3,000 double passes (6,000 passes) Those who have indicated willingness to be placed on a wait list go to 4th cascade. Those who haven’t are out of the ballot


Applicants who have indicated willingness to be placed on a wait list Establish a priority order for allocating passes as they become available


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