A Daily Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

V C Corner Cemetery, Fromelles, France.

In 1916 the Australian Imperial Force arrived on the Western Front after the disaster of the Gallipoli Campaign. They saw their first action on a quiet part of the front, French Flanders, on 19th and 20th of July 1916 . It was an unmitigated disaster, the worst 24hrs that any Australian Army has ever known. 5553 soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Very few Australians know about this terrible military disaster.

VC Corner Cemetery was constructed in 1920-21 from over 400 bodies recovered after the Armistice from the battlefield. It is not a mass grave like the recently discovered nearby Pheasant Wood site. The unknown men were buried in separate graves but with no headstones. Two white concrete crosses inlaid into the grass and beds of roses mark the locations of the interred. The wall in the distance is a memorial that inscribes the names of nearly 2000 men with no known grave on the battlefield.

Historians are unsure how the cemetery got it's name, it certainly does not refer to Victoria Crosses won at this battle but it probably is a nickname from the battle to an unknown act of bravery that occurred here.

It is supposedly a unique cemetery on the Western Front. It is the only one with no headstones and contains only Australian Servicemen.

11 comments:

  1. A very moving and beautiful post for the day, Mark! It does make one wonder what and when will mankind learn from the horrors of the past. Thank you, Mark!

    Sylvia

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  2. Wonderful post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  3. Lovely photo and a very apt post on this Anzac Day eve, Mark...

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  4. Thanks for this post Mark - we do indeed salute those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country and its people. Lest we forget.

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  5. Excellent and timely post, Mark. I am working on a 'bucket' and time in the Western Front is high on the list. I find sites like this immensely moving. When do you take a group of students over there again?

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  6. Its awful that so many died here in one spot...the ground is filled with the dead. Its a beautiful memorial to them.

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  7. Great post. Having viewed the memorial at Gallipoli it really makes you stop and think.

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  8. Who can even comprehend such numbers, such violence?
    Thank you for this post.

    I just now blogged about today's ANZAC Day service in Jerusalem.
    Peace to you and all.

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