Territory Stories

Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018



Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018


Katherine Times; NewspaperNT






Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers

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North Australian News for Katherine Times

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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North Australian News for Katherine Times



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Australians on the Western Front ]ROAD TO REMEMBRANCE Wednesday January 24, 2018KATHERINETIMES8 katherinetimes.com.au Trail links war stories SERGEANT SimonFraser, a farmer fromByaduk in VictoriasGrampians, was rescuing the wounded in no-mans-land for three days and nights after the Battle of Fromelles when he heard a voice crying out. Dont forget me cobber. This moving image is depicted in a sculpture that recognises the bravery of stretcher bearers who risked their own lives to save others after the disastrous Battle of Fromellesthe first battle involving Australians on the Western Front in July 1916. The bronze statue entitled Cobbers stands in a park in northern France, adjacent to the VC CornerMemorial and Australian Cemetery. The statue lists the names of 1299 Australiansmissing at Fromelles and contains the remains of 410 of thesemen. Nearby is the Battle of FromellesMuseum and PheasantWoodMilitary Cemetery where 250 soldiers, including 219 Australians, were reinterred after their remains were recovered from amass grave in 2009. The story of Fromelles and Simon Fraser is just one of many told at the sites that make up the Australian Remembrance Trail along theWestern Front. The commemorative trail links new and upgraded museums, battlefield sites, cemeteries andmemorials that are important to understanding the Australian experience during the First WorldWar. An Australian Government initiative established in co-operation with Belgian and French authorities, the 200km trail covers the ground where 295,000 Australians served, 46,000 were killed and 132,000 wounded. Starting in Belgiums rebuilt city of Ieper (Ypres) at the trails northern end, visitors can trace the route of troopsmarching past the ruinedmedieval tower of the Cloth Hall and out through theMenin Gate to battle. In September 1917, photographer Frank Hurley said the Cloth Hall was a pitiful apology of a brick dump, scarred and riddled with shell holes. Its beautifully carved facades are smallpoxed with shell splinters. Today, the In Flanders FieldMuseum is housed in Iepers restored Cloth Hall and a Last Post Ceremony is held every night on the cobblestones of theMenin GateMemorial. The names of 6000missing Australians are engraved on thememorial. Elsewhere in Belgium at Zonnebeke, theMemorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, with its recreated trenches and dugouts, highlights the terrible Australian losses in 1917. Nearby is Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest CommonwealthWar Graves Cemetery in the world. Beneath the stone pedestal of its Great Cross lies the remains of a German bunker that was captured by Australians. The Plugstreet 14-18 experiencemuseum tells the story of the Battle of Messines in June 1917 which began with an explosion of undergroundmines that was reputedly heard in London. Not far away is Toronto Avenue Cemetery, an exclusively Australian burial ground. The Australian Infantry Forces Fifth Division memorial is also in Belgium at PolygonWood. Heading south along the Australian Remembrance Trail into France, past Fromelles and Arras, travellers reach Bullecourt where a Digger statue, also created by Cobbers sculptor Peter Corlett, stands at the AustralianMemorial. The Jean and Denise Letaille Museum illuminates the two 1917 Battles of Bullecourt in which Australia suffered 10,000 casualties. Further south, the First Division chose Pozires for its memorial, commemorating its first significant action near the town at theWindmill site where Australia suffered 23,000 casualties in just under seven weeks from July 1916. The newest museum to tell the story of Australians on theWestern Front is the Sir JohnMonash Centre at the southernmost point of the trail. The centre will open on April 24, 2018, outside Villers-Bretonneux at the Australian National Memorial, which carries the names of more than 10,700 Australians with no known grave. The refurbished Franco-AustralianMuseum in the towns Victoria School highlights its relationship with Australians who cleared German troops from the town on April 25, 1918. The school was rebuilt with funds from Victorian schoolchildren and carries the sign Do Not Forget Australia above its playground shelter. North of Villers-Bretonneux is the village of Le Hamel, whose capture by the Allies on July 4, 1918, was vital to protecting the transport hub of Amiens. TheThird Australian Divisions memorial is at Saillyle-Sec, north of Le Hamel and the River Somme. Visitors can go beyond Amiens to Vignacourt to see Thuilliers Farmouse, where soldiers posed for portraits while on leave, and the British Cemetery where 424 Australians are buried. Heading east near Peronne, the Second Divisions memorial recalls its biggest victory, the capture of MontSt-Quentin, while the Fourth Divisions memorial, on the heights above Bellenglise, marks its successful advance shortly before the war ended. More information on the Australian Remembrance Trail is available at https:// anzacportal.dva.gov.au/ history/conflicts/australians-western-front The Road to Remembrance is published by FairfaxMedia in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. DESTRUCTION: Australian troops passing the ruins of Ypres on the way to the front line October 25, 1917. PHOTO: AWM E04612 BYMICHAEL GREALY Australian Remembrance Trail covers the ground where 295,000 Australians served and 46,000 were killed along the Western Front in Europe. DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A DIGITAL PRESENCE? We have everything you need to connect your business with local customers and beyond. 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