A Project by St Mary's Cathedral College
The network for St Mary's Cathedral College student research on 'The Lost Diggers of Fromelles'
This is where the students of St Mary's Cathedral College meet to explore the lives of those men who have become known as "The Lost Diggers of Fromelles'.
A group of SMCC students will leave for France on April 7th to spend time exploring the Western Front. Our magnificent History teacher, Steve Garry accompanied by three other teachers will lead the students on a tour of many of the significant battlefields as well as spending time in Paris. It will be a most memorable experience for all. Steve has set up a site for the trip.
We will share some of the experiences of the group through this site. Channel 7 did a nice story on the group while they were visiting various sites.
One of the highlights for Steve has always been his trip to the museum at Fromelles. This trip was no different. In fact Steve has made another connection through the museum. There is a wonderful site set up called, 'Recovering the Past' by Ian Alderman. We are looking forward to making contact with Ian to hear more about his work.
Lambis has been keeping us up to date with all the latest on what has been happening around the identification of soldiers.
Here is the latest update from Lambis Englezos on the identification of soldiers.
Apple have just released a collection of resources to commemorate the centenary of WW1. Click on the image below to go to the resources in the iTunes Store.
The ABC have also released a collection of resources to support the centenary commemorations. iView on ABC also has a great collection of stories celebrating the centenary of Anzac. They have also just released a new site for students to explore the battles of the Western Front.
With the centenary being celebrated recently a number of stories have appeared across all forms of media.
There have been many other sites and resources created since we began the project. Here are a sample:
Beginning in 2010, students from our Year 9 History classes created video profiles of a number of the soldiers who had been listed as missing following the Battle of Fromelles in 1916. In pairs they worked to bring a number of the soldiers' stories back to life and pay tribute to these courageous men who had been buried at Pheasant Wood for almost a century.
A small group of students created profiles for the Commemoration Ceremony in France in July. This was a great honour and the video profiles were very well received.
We will be producing more video profiles of the soldiers killed at Fromelles in 1916. Again the Year 10 History classes will undertake this challenge. Our aim is to have created a profile for each of the soldiers as a tribute to their courage and selflessness.
The AIF database is a good place to start looking.
We have been fortunate to be supported by Lambis Englezos throughout the journey. This has meant a great deal to the staff and students involved in the project. Some of what Lambis has done can be seen in this SBS documentary.
As are the soldiers who were selected by students in 2010. Those soldiers are BERROL MENDELSOHN, JOHN JACK BOWDEN, CLARENCE TIMBRELL COLLIER, WILLIAM WASS, HENRY BELL, WILLIAM JOSEPH CUCKSON, ROBERT COURTNEY GREEN, IGNATIUS BERTRAM NORRIS, HARRY LOWRY MOFFITT, EDWARD HENRY DIBBEN, CLIFFORD DAWSON HOLLIDAY, JUSTIN BREGUET, HENRY NELSON, VINTON BAKER, REGINALD WILDMAN
These soldiers were completed by students in 2011. GEORGE PAGAN,
These soldiers were completed in 2012. ALBERT WILLIAMSON, JOHN GOULDING, FRANK HEWARD, LESLIE LEISTER, HASSALL KENDALL, HOWARD JAMES RANDALL, JOHN TURNER, CHARLES HAWCROFT, LAWRENCE HARRIOTT, HAROLD JOHN BOURKE, ERIC FLOYD HANCOCK.
Due to changes to the syllabus no profiles were constructed in 2014.
In 2016 only one profile was considered worthy of inclusion on this site.
In 2017 two profiles stood out.
CATEGORY 1 SOLDIER: A basic reference sheet will be provided by your teacher.
Highest Grade Achievable: A
FRED ARTHUR DYSON
HENRY VICTOR WILLIS
ROBERT DAVID BURNS
CATEGORY 2 SOLDIER: You will be provided with primary and secondary source material.
Highest Grade Achievable: B
JOHN (JACK) P. PHILLIPS *(Anne Stewart who is a member of the Ning is a relative)
FRANCIS JAMES WILLIAMS *(Francis Margaret Gregory is a relative and a member of the Ning)
ALEXANDER THOMAS O'DONNELL (Mr Burden has a contact for Alexander)
MATTHEW HEPPLE *(Jon Andrews is a relative of Matthew and is a member of the Ning)
FREDERICK FLETCHER *(Bill Wright from the Oatley Sub Branch can assist with the profile on Frederick. Mr Burden has his contact details)
HENRY MAYER *(Bill Wright from the Oatley Sub Branch can assist with the profile on Henry. Mr Burden has his email)
We would like to thank Chloe Wootten from the Dept. of Defence, Damian Madden from the Virtual Fromelles Museum and Chris Munro from the Friends of the AIF for all their help in providing resources and links to assist in constructing the stories. A very special thanks to Chris Reason from Channel 7 for the inspiration and setting up of the project through his involvement in reporting on Fromelles and his links with the Dept of Defence.
Thanks also to all the boys for giving up so much of their own time and to Mr Steve Garry our History teacher for all his wisdom and insight into the various battles of WW1. His advice, guidance, enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to the project ensures the program will be ongoing.
Steve and the students involved have been asked to present this project at a number of venues. It is wonderful recognition of their skill, knowledge and commitment to keeping the memory of these men alive.
In 2010 they presented at the Teaching and Learning Conference at Macquarie University while in March of this year our project was the feature presentation at the Archdiocesan eLearning Conference at Marcellin College, Randwick.
The following link will take you to images of the ceremony released by the Department of Defence.
There has also been a release of photos through the Commonwelath War Graves Commission.
Born in the NSW town of Canowindra , Albert Williamson was the tenth child of Joseph and Cecilia Williamson. A 22 year-old labourer he was living at Rose Villa with his mother, his father having…Continue
Started by Sue-Ellen Nash. Last reply by JANE HALLOWS (NEE WILLIAMSON) May 3, 2015.
This was a diary entry from Francis Armstrong: A friend of mine, Private A.E Rodda, received a communication from you , asking for particulars of the death of Lieut. B. Mendelsohn of this battalion…Continue
Started by Michael Burden. Last reply by Michael Burden Aug 17, 2010.
I have just accessed the profile on Allan Bennett via the link on this site. It has an unfortunate omission in that it doesn't mention Allan's other brother who was serving in the AIF. Happens to be…Continue
Started by Peter Thomson. Last reply by Michael Burden Jun 28, 2010.
Letters from Aboriginal men who served Australia during the First World War are extremely rare.
But as the history of Aboriginal military service during the Great War is given greater attention, their firsthand accounts illustrate better than anything the sacrifice and the emotional cost of war.
The letters and postcards, some held privately, tell a moving, if laconic, story tinged with longing, gallows humour, bravado and sadness.…Continue
Posted by Michael Burden on April 25, 2017 at 17:00
Leonard Broadhurst is my Great Uncle, I have his birth certificate and to the best of my and other family members knowledge, he only had 1 christian name, Leonard. Birth Certificate shows only Leonard. Uncle Len was born 2 Feb 1894. The 3 brothers, all moved their birth dates by 1 yr so that the youngest (Bert) could enlist and the brothers would not attract undue attention due to age discrepancies. I am also intrigued as to where the information about injury to the knee was sourced? …Continue
Posted by Chris Clark on April 8, 2017 at 22:48
Hi to everyone,
A Memorial Service to honour the supreme sacrifice of Harry Cressy, 54th Battalion, and 23 1st A.I.F. soldiers who are memorialised or should be memorialised at Sandgate Cemetery, will take place on the 19th July 2016.
I am looking for a guest speaker to give a short history of the Battle of Fromelles. Two other guest speakers will talk about Harry's life and service and also read extracts from his diary.
Please email me at email@example.com if you…Continue
Posted by Gary Mitchell on June 23, 2016 at 6:21
I am wanting to say that I am so pleased to have found this site. The battle of Fromelles was particularly poignant for my family on both sides. We lost two boys, William WASS "54th Battalion" and Richard Yardy "53rd Battalion" during this operation.
From what I understand William Wass was an Englishman, a veteran of both the Boer War and Boxer Rebellion. William was a relative of my Great Grandfather and came to Australia following the Boer War with the…Continue
Posted by Peter Kennedy on December 13, 2015 at 19:45