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.
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.