On a mis­sion to pre­serve our his­tory

Bat­tle of Pozieres came at great cost

The Chronicle - - News - MATTHEW NEW­TON Matthew.New­ton@thechron­i­cle.com.au

IT HAS been de­scribed as the one place on earth most densely sown in Aus­tralian sac­ri­fice, yet Barry Gracey reck­ons few could tell you what went on at Pozieres, nearly 100 years ago.

Now, he’s on a mis­sion to change that.

The Toowoomba-born pres­i­dent of the Pozieres Re­mem­brance As­so­ci­a­tion re­turned to the Gar­den City yes­ter­day seek­ing sup­port for his project to es­tab­lish gar­dens over the 3.5 hectares the as­so­ci­a­tion pur­chased in Pozieres nearly six years ago.

Pozieres was the first ma­jor win for Aus­tralia in World War I. But it came at great cost.

“In six weeks, 7000 men were killed and 16,000 wounded. Three di­vi­sions were de­stroyed and the ar­tillery was that bad that 4112 men were not found af­ter the bat­tle,” Mr Gracey said.

“So out of the 7000, 65% of the men just van­ished.

“They’re still in the fields at Pozieres.”

Among the fields of Pozieres are at least 36 Toowoomba sol­diers who never made it home half of whom have no known grave.

Mr Gracey is sell­ing 7000 bricks as a way of rais­ing money for the gar­dens.

So far, 4000 bricks have been sold.

“It’s a place that peo­ple can go and pay re­spect to the men who lie un­der their feet,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the project or to do­nate, head to www.pozieres­re­mem­bered.com.au.

Photo: Nev Mad­sen

Pozieres Re­mem­brance As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Barry Gracey.

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