The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced that a Joint Identification Board held on 23 March 2012, has identified by name, a further nine Australians among the 250 Australian and British WW1 soldiers who were recovered from Pheasant Wood in France in 2009.
This identification brings the total number of Australians identified to 119.
Mr Snowdon said tens of thousands of young Australian soldiers gave their all on the Western Front, and the latest identification project has now ensured Privates Leonard Broadhurst, Robert Carrington Forland, John Robertson Forrest, John Joseph Goulding, William Alexander Jamieson, Arthur Joseph Johnson, Claude Ward John Cyril Wynn and Corporal Alfred George Tuck now are known by name where they lie in Fromelles.
“Australia will always pay tribute to our fallen sons, from those dark days of the First World War.”
A further 92 Australians remain unidentified, along with two unidentified British soldiers and another 37 whose graves are marked as Unidentified Soldier of the Great War.
“We are determined to identify as many of these brave Australians as possible,” Minister Snowdon said.
“We are encouraged by the success, made possible by the large number of extended family members, both in Australia and Britain, who have provided DNA samples to assist with identification.”
“The additional identifications demonstrate the tenacity and dedication of a great team and how the latest scientific methods and great research can produce outstanding results,” he said
“It is important that we are able to identify these soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and to assist in giving closure to their families,” he said.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, said the involvement of the families of those diggers that remain unaccounted for has been vital to this process.
“We currently have almost 3,000 family members’ details in our records but we still need more,” Lt Gen Morrison said.
“If you think you might be related to a soldier who remains unaccounted for from the Battle of Fromelles, please get in contact with the Army.”
The Army’s Fromelles Project team can be contacted by phoning 1800 019 090 or by accessing the website at www.army.gov.au/Our-work/Unrecovered-War-Casualties.
The identified soldiers are among the 250 Australian and British WW1 soldiers who were recovered from a mass burial site at Pheasant Wood in France. Their remains were recovered in 2009 and reburied, with full military honours at a new cemetery, the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery in Fromelles, France last year.
The Battle of Fromelles is recognised as one of the worst days in Australia’s military history and was the first major battle fought by the Australian Infantry Force in France. The 5th Australian Division suffered over 5,500 casualties (dead and wounded) and many of those killed remain unaccounted for, almost a century after the battle.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will now erect new headstones with the identified men’s details and they will be dedicated on 20 July this year during the annual commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles.
Editors Note: A list of those soldiers identified and their particulars is attached.
Marcus Butler (Minister Snowdon) 02 6277 7820
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999
2012 FROMELLES PROJECT JOINT IDENTIFICATION BOARD
LIST OF IDENTIFIED AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS
Service NumberRank Given Names Surname Unit Enlistment Place
3013 Private Leonard BROADHURST 55th Battalion Sydney NSW
4779 Private Robert Carrington FORLAND 53rd Battalion Lithgow NSW
3046 Private John Robertson FORREST 54th Battalion Liverpool NSW
555 Private Joh Joseph GOULDING 31st Battalion Brisbane QLD
2144 Private William Alexander JAMIESON 31st Battalion Cootamundra NSW
2203 Private Arthur Joseph JOHNSON 29th Battalion Melbourne NSW
1252 Corporal Alfred George TUCK 29th Battalion Melbourne VIC
2184 Private Claude WARD 30th Battalion Newcastle NSW
2485 Private John Cyril WYNN 30th Battalion West Maitland NSW