Remains of six First World War Australian soldiers identified

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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The Australian Army has confirmed the identification of a further six Australians from the 250 Australian and British World War One soldiers recovered from a mass burial site at Pheasant Wood in France in 2009.

The soldiers newly identified are Second Lieutenant James Benson, Private Justin Hercules Breguet, Private Clifton Sydney Brindal, Private Sidney Broom, Private William Burke, and Private Robert Thomas Maudsley.

The recent identification was facilitated by the Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties Fromelles project team.  The identification brings the total number of named Australians to 150 and contributes another important piece to the history of the Army in the Great War.

The Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO, said the identification honoured the service and memory of our soldiers.

“The Battle of Fromelles is an important part of our Army’s history and our Nation’s history, and it is a story that we want to complete,” Major General Burr said.

“We have been fortunate to have the interest and cooperation of the Australian community to connect 150 of the soldiers lost at Fromelles with their descendants,”

“Together with the relatives of those who fought at Fromelles, we hope to collect more information to identify the 100 soldiers who remain unknown,”

“The assistance of the community helps us to commemorate our soldiers in the most respectful way, while also connecting current generations of Australians with their military heritage.”

The Battle of Fromelles was the first major battle fought by the Australian Imperial Force in France and is recognised as one of the worst periods in Australia’s military history as the 5th Australian Division suffered more than 5,500 casualties (killed and wounded).

The identification of soldiers killed has been made possible by the Fromelles Project team establishing a register of more than 3,000 relatives and descendants of Australian soldiers killed at Fromelles.

For more information about the six identified soldiers visit the Army website:

Further information about the Fromelles Project is available at:

The Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties Unit are collecting information about First Australian Imperial Force soldiers who; fought in the Battle of Fromelles, whose date of death is listed between 19 – 20 July 1916, and whose grave is listed as unknown.

Members of the public who have a relative that fits this profile, please register with the Australian Fromelles Project:

Click HERE to read more

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