Dig­gers re­mem­bered

Southern Telegraph - - Anzac Day - Ce­cilia Allen

The names of Rock­ing­ham sol­diers who fought in World War I will be dis­played along the Aus­tralian Re­mem­brance Trail in France.

City of Rock­ing­ham RSL sub­branch pres­i­dent and for­mer navy serviceman Ian Brook will at­tend a spe­cial tour through the World War I bat­tle­field to com­mem­o­rate the an­niver­sary of the bat­tles of Fromelles and Pozieres in July, 1916.

Dur­ing the tour, from July 17 to 23, Mr Brook will present a plaque with the names of 14 Rock­ing­ham sol­diers who fought in the Great War, some of whom were killed dur­ing the bat­tles of Fromelles and Pozieres.

The bat­tles are re­ferred to as two of the dead­li­est in Aus­tralia’s mil­i­tary his­tory.

In an at­tempt to dis­tract Ger­man forces who were bat­tling the French and Bri­tish on the Somme in the south, Aus­tralian forces were sent into Fromelles, on July 19, 1916.

It was Aus­tralia’s in­tro­duc­tion to the Western Front — the main the­atre of war — af­ter spend­ing months fight­ing in Gal­lipoli.

By the next day, the Aus­tra- lians had suf­fered 5500 ca­su­al­ties — their great­est losses in a sin­gle day.

On July 23, Aus­tralian forces were sent to join the Bri­tish and French al­lies in the small town of Pozieres along the Somme, for an­other bat­tle. There were more than 23,000 An­zac ca­su­al­ties lost in the six-week bat­tle.

To as­sist in travel costs, the City of Rock­ing­ham RSL sub­branch will hold raf­fles and fundrais­ing events. Small busi­nesses or any­one who would like to help with costs can con­tact the RSL at rslrock@west­net.com.au or on 0437 109 632.

City of Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels and RSL sub-branch pres­i­dent and ex-serviceman Ian Brook with the plaque dis­play­ing the names of Rock­ing­ham sol­diers.

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