Clare Hall Colloquium

Dr Peter Jones

Deputy Chair of the Fromelles Identification Board, Icenica Ltd

Recovering and Identifying the Fromelles Soldiers

On the evening of 19 July 1916 men from the 61st British and 5th Australian Divisions attacked Fromelles to “distract” the Germans from reinforcing their troops fighting at the Somme.  The net result was no land gained, 1,547 British casualties and 5,513 Australian casualties and ca 1,600 casualties on the German side.  The attack remains the single bloodiest 24 hours in Australian history, and many of those killed were never recovered.  This is the story of how 250 bodies were recovered in 2010 and how 159 of them have been identified using a combination of molecular biology, anthropology and forensic techniques.