World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


British Soldiers Beside Diggers in Fromelles

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Friday, 13 June 2008 071/2008

Confirmed: British Soldiers Buried Beside Diggers In Fromelles

The discovery of two British General Service buttons at the limited excavation of a group burial site in Fromelles confirms that fallen British First World War soldiers have lain beside their Australian comrades for almost 92 years.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon, said the discovery provides physical confirmation of the findings from both the historical and non-invasive research carried out earlier in the investigative process.

“We now have artifacts that show we have uncovered the remains of both British and Australian soldiers in Fromelles, which makes this a very significant site for both nations,” Minister Snowdon said.

The find follows the unearthing of two Australian Rising Sun collar badges earlier this week, as well as several items of Commonwealth equipment which were used by soldiers of both nationalities during the First World War.

“The unearthing of two British General Service buttons is an important find, similar to the discovery of Rising Sun badges for Australia, and we join with the British Ministry of Defence in welcoming the news.”

Once assessments and research is complete, the Australian Government will be presented with a Report from the project contractor, Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD), and will need to consider the next step in consultation with other authorities.

“This discovery highlights the need to continue our close working relationship with the British and French Governments as well as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and cements the need to reach a bilateral decision regarding the future of the site.”

Skeletal human remains were first encountered at the site on the second day of excavation, 27 May 2008, and have now been uncovered in all five of the pits expected to contain human remains and an adjacent sixth pit in which body parts have been found.

Researchers on site estimate numbers buried at the site may reach as high as several hundred with a summary of numbers and condition of the remains to be released following completion of the excavation.

The excavation is scheduled to conclude on Friday 13 June with a small, local ceremony planned to mark the closing of this phase and the significance of the find.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>