News from the Western Front

While it has been very difficult to keep it secret, after receiving all official documentation that was needed to carry out a Survey,  I can now reveal.

Today I am privileged to be standing again in the fields of Pozieres.
Even though it is not possible to see the Farm in this weather, I am standing in the rain and mud looking across the ploughed fields towards Mouquet Farm.
When our Men fought here in 1916, it was the coldest wettest summer in French history. I can only be thankful that I do not have to endure the artillery barrage and ferocious attacks of the Germans defending the Village, but only contend with the traffic noise of the D929 behind me.
This kind of weather helps you to understand better what our Soldiers endured here.
Why am I here now, and not visiting in the summer months you may ask?
We have been very fortunate to gain support of the Fallen Diggers Association in Melbourne. Through the efforts of its President Dennis Frank, we will be conducting a site survey of the proposed Memorial Park commencing next week.
This survey is an approved non-intrusive no dig survey mapping OG1 and OG2 trench lines, and the Park area.
It has always been the intention of our Association that we do as little as possible to disturb the Men that lie here, and the Fallen Diggers team will greatly assist this goal by determining areas that we cannot work in, but will merely grass or plant with rose gardens.
This survey will also enhance our ability to lay out elements of the Park, taking consideration of the sight lines of the Windmill site towards Mouquet Farm and other historical points.
Very much a balancing act, and would be almost impossible without the support Fallen Diggers is giving us.
Today I am the only Australian that I know of in the Village, yet I do not feel alone Von is back home in Australia catching up on the backlog of brick sales that’s has to be done.

Many of our Men that came here in 1916 still lie within the village. This is their resting place, and their sacrifice has made this Village a very important place for all Australians.
In this Village, no Australian will ever be alone.
Barry Gracey
President
Pozieres Remembrance Assn. Inc.