34 soldiers re-buried

The Last Post is sounded on the cornet of the 31st Battalion AIF

On Wednesday the re-burial of 34 soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles whose remains were recovered from the burial pits at Pheasant Wood took place in showery and cold weather.  The snow had melted and the ground was muddy.

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery on the morning of 3 February 2010 following rain

Carole Laignel, FFFAIF member and Secretary, Fromelles Museum (Fromelles Weppes Terre de Mémoire 1914-1918) has again provided a photographic record, covering some of the re-burials on Wednesday 3 February 2010.  The re-burials follow the Commonwealth War Graves Commission The Order of Service for the re-burial of soldiers killed in the Battle of Fromelles 19 July at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery available for download on their website remembering Fromelles.

The Service again commenced with the Ceremonial Guard parading and the Union Jack and Australian flags being raised, broken and lowered to half mast.

The burial plots were prepared.

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 recited a prayer as the Bearer Party lowered the coffin into the grave.

 

 

This part of the service was followed for each of 34 soldiers re-buried.

At the Close of the Day, the Bearer Party took up its position alongside the the Firing Party and the Chaplains led prayers.

 

An Australian and a British soldier from the Bearer Party each read a Regimental Collect.

 

 

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.

Floral tributes remained in the covered observation area where the visitors had signed the register.

Floral tributes at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery on 3 February 2010

May they Rest in Peace

*****

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.

 

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