The Lost Anzacs
In 2009, the bodies of 250 unknown First World War soldiers were discovered in a mass burial site in farm lands at Fromelles in France. They had lain undiscovered for 93 years, lost to their families and at rest in foreign soil until a dedicated team of Australian and British specialists returned them from obscurity.
Many of these soldiers were identified by matching their DNA with living descendents, allowing them to be re-interred with dignity beside their comrades in the memorial cemeteries of Villers-Bretonneur and Pheasant Wood at Fromelles.
This was an emotional moment for their families, as soldiers lost on the Somme battlefields are rarely found. It allowed the story of their lives to be closed with reverence and respect.
These were young men who had sailed from home with excitement and youthful vigour, naïve to the true nature of war. Some had seen battle for the first time, others might have survived Gallipoli, but all had succumbed, losing their lives on the Somme battlefields.
Finding the ‘Lost Anzacs’ after so many years brought home the significance of that period in our early Australian history. It compelled me to write the music for ‘The Fields of Pozieres’ And an interpretation of the Pozieres engagement – the bloodiest Anzac battle of World War 1.
They commemorate those long ago events, paying tribute to the service men and women who guard our freedom and way of life.
It is a privilege to honour their memory.