The younger generations of Australia were represented recently at the unveiling of the Cobbers Statute in Melbourne on the 19th July. FFFAIF member Hector McDonald and his daughter Paige attended the unveiling of the statue and the commemorative service for the 92nd anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.
During the Battle of Fromelles the AIF suffered 5,533 casualties many of whom have no known grave or are listed amongst the missing from the battle. The McDonald family has experienced first hand the emotions felt when the remains of a digger from the Great War is discovered. Hector is related to one of the five soldiers discovered in Belgium in April 2007, known as the Zonnebeke 5.
The Melbourne Cobbers Statute is the second casting of the Peter Corlett sculpture. The original statue stands in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles, France. The following photos by Hector McDonald give a perspective of the location of the statue in the park surrounding the Shrine of Remembrance.
FROMELLES IS NOT HONOURED ON THE NATIONAL OR ANY STATE MEMORIAL IN AUSTRALIA.
FFFAIF SUPPORTS ALL EFFORTS TO RECOGNISE FROMELLES ON OR AT THE NATIONAL AND ALL STATE MEMORIALS THAT PRESENTLY LIST BATTLES BY NAME.
FFFAIF Policy Statement
The Families and Friends of the First AIF believes that the Australian Government through the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs should commit the to re-burial of the “missing of Fromelles” with individual graves and headstones in a new Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Pheasant Wood after DNA testing.