Remains of Australian and British troops honored 94 years after the Battle of FromellesJuly 19th, 2010 - 11:05 pm ICT by BNO News
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (BNO NEWS) — Australian and British soldiers who died in one of the bloodiest battles in history, during World War One, finally received honorable goodbyes with proper funeral ceremonies 94 years later in France.
On July 19 and July 20, 1916, during the Battle of Fromelles, thousands of Australians and Britons were killed. A German mass grave, which was only uncovered a few years ago, made it impossible to identify the fallen soldiers and account for the actual deaths.
Archaeologists worked at the site for over a year, and DNA technology has allowed to identify the remains of around 250 Australian and British soldiers. 205 of them were confirmed Australian and 96 of those have already been named. The other 42 are still classified as unknown.
“As we remember the 5,533 young Australian soldiers killed and injured on that fateful July night in 1916, more than 4,000 people, many of them descendants of those brave soldiers, are now gathering in Fromelles for a more personal ceremony,” NSW Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans Affairs Frank Terenzini said, according to ABC News.
Thousands of Australians, some carrying soil from their homeland, eucalyptus leaves, and flowers, traveled to France to honor the fallen soldiers.
The last coffin was led by a horsedrawn wagon into the new Fromelles Military Cemetery, as Australia’s Governor General Quentin Bryce and Prince Charles followed.
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