Burials continue …..
On the day following the first of the re-burials of the soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles whose remains were recovered from the burial pits at Pheasant Wood, the sun shone,
some of the snow had melted and all was quiet at Pheasant Wood.
Floral tributes remained in the covered observation area where the visitors had signed the register the previous day.
Re-burials resumed on Monday 1 February 2010 at 11 a.m.
Carole Laignel FFFAIF member and Secretary, Fromelles Museum (Fromelles Weppes Terre de Mémoire 1914-1918) has once again provided a photographic record of some of these re-burials.
There was still some snow on the ground and the temperature was 0oC. The Order of Service guided the service with the Ceremonial Guard parading and the Union Jack and Australian flags being raised, broken and lowered to half mast.
The Bearer Party, Firing Parties and Orderlies took their positions and the Bearer Party received the coffin before the Chaplains led the Bearer Party and coffin to the graveside.
The Chaplain said a prayer as the Bearer Party lowered the coffin into the grave.
The grave was then covered.
This part of the service was followed for each of 30 soldiers re-buried.
The Exhortation (The Ode) was read and the Firing Party fired three volleys. The Last Post was played followed by a minute’s silence. After the Blessing, the flags were raised to full mast and then lowered and the parade departed the cemetery.
Re-burial services are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, weather permitting.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has provided a copy of The Order of Service for the re-burial of soldiers killed in the Battle of Fromelles 19 July at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery on their website remembering Fromelles
FFFAIF’s thanks go to French member Carole Laignel for providing the photos in this report.
The Families and Friends of the First AIF applauds the joint Australian–UK decision to conduct a full DNA testing program on the remains of Australian and British soldiers found in mass graves at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles), and for their continuing commitment to identify as many of the fallen as is possible. We also thank the Australian, UK and French governments for affording dignified individual reburials for these soldiers, buried by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916, in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery with services commencing on 30th January 2010.