What is it that makes the Attack at Fromelles resonate with Australians?
July 19-20, 1916
The Battle of Fromelles was Australia’s first action on the Western Front. It was disastrous.
Arguably the worst 24 hours in Australian military history, there were over 5,500 Australian casualties.
Five hundred men were taken prisoner and almost 2,000 were killed.
In one night at Fromelles the Australian casualties
were equivalent to those in
the Boer, Korean and Vietnam Wars, combined.
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This statue, titled “Cobbers” by Melbourne artist Peter Corlett was was installed in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles, France in 1998.
In the days after the battle rescuers recovered some 300 wounded from no-man’s land.
As one soldier carried a wounded companion from the field he heard a call for help.
Don’t forget me, cobber
The “Cobbers” statue in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles in France features Sergeant Simon Fraser from Western Victoria carrying a fallen comrade from the field.
Cobbers is a memorial to Australian service and sacrifice at the Battle of Fromelles. Fraser risked his life and a possible court martial when he returned to save a stricken soldier whose identity is unknown.
(Photo by Clare Rhoden)