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The Lost Soldiers of Fromelles

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Nigel Bennee.

On 19 July 1916 near the village of Fromelles about six miles from the city of Lille in northern France, a force of about 9,250 Australian and British soldiers attacked a group of heavily fortified German positions. The conflict was initiated after Allied intelligence reports indicated that German troops in that area could reinforce their compatriots engaged in the Battle of the Somme, which was raging nearly 50 miles to the south. The battle near Fromelles would prove disastrous for Allied forces, with nearly 5,533 Australians and 1,547 British killed during the two-day action. Shortly after the conflict was over, German troops hurriedly buried in unmarked graves several hundred of the Allied soldiers who had fallen over their lines in an effort to stop the spread of diseases. These bodies would remain in these unmarked locations until their discovery in (June 2008), when the mass grave site was discovered adjacent to woodland (Pheasant Wood) near Fromelles.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) series.

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