On Tuesday the 19th of July, the Friends of the 15th Brigade Association organised a special commemorative service at the Cobbers Statue in the gardens of the Shrine of Remembrance to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916.
This solemn event, attended by former Premier of Victoria The Hon. Ted Baillieu, the Minister for Veterans The Hon. John Eren and many other important members of the community, including the French RSL commemorated the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front during the Great War. Fromelles was the site of the initial entry of the Australians on the Western front and it was a sheer disaster: the Australian 5th Division suffered more than 5000 casualties with almost 2000 soldiers killed within 24 hours, in what will remain the worst single night in the Australian military history.
Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Honorary Consul-General of France in Melbourne, took the opportunity to thank “our Australian friends by our side, once again” after the recent attack in Nice.
The story of Fromelles, like that of so many other battlefields of the First World War, is a story that bears witness to the strength of the Franco-Australian relationship and to the sacrifice made by so many soldiers, so many years ago.