Departement du Nord
Postal Code: 59249
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Fromelles is a village 16 kilometres west of Lille and VC Corner Australian Cemetery is 2 kilometres north-west of Fromelles on the road to Sailly.
On the morning of 19 July 1916, after a preliminary bombardment, the 5th Australian and 61st (South Midland) Divisions undertook what is officially known as the Attack at Fromelles. The 61st Division attack failed in the end, with the loss of over 1,000 officers and men out of 3,410 who took part in it. The Australian left and centre reached the German trenches and held their second line during the day and night, but the right was held off by a fierce machine-gun barrage and only reached the front line in isolated groups. The action was broken off on the morning of 20 July, after the 5th Australian Division had lost over 5,000 officers and men. It was the first serious engagement of the Australian forces in France, and the only one to achieve no success.
V.C. Corner Cemetery was made after the Armistice. It contains the graves of over 400 Australian soldiers who died in the Attack at Fromelles whose bodies were found on the battlefield and could not be identified. It was decided not to mark the individual graves, but to record on a screen wall the names of all the nearly 1300 Australian soldiers who were killed in the Attack on Fromelles. It is believed that some of these men are among those whose remains were discovered in several mass graves at Pheasant Wood, just north of Fromelles village, in 2008. As many of these remains as possible will be identified and interred at a new CWGC cemetery (Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery) scheduled for dedication in July 2010.
The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.