Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery Tours

Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery
Just outside the Belgian border with France stands a First World War cemetery built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission containing the graves of 250 British and Australian soldiers who died on July 19, 1916, in the Battle of Fromelles - a diversionary battle, which only occured in order to draw the attention of the Germans away from the larger attacks elsewhere in Somme. It involved units of the Australian 5th Division and the British 61st Division, but alas, the Germans were well-prepared and the British Empire troops suffered great losses.

Dating back from just 2009, Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery was the first new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery to be built in commemoration of World War I in over 50 years; the last such cemeteries having mostly been in remembrance of the Second World War. The reason for this somewhat unusual delay is that analysis of historical aerial photographs showed the presence of mass graves on the edge of Pheasant Wood, which were confirmed after excavation works in 2008. Over 250 British and Australian bodies from five mass graves and some 6,200 individual artifacts have since been successfully identified using DNA analysis.

Practical Info

Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery is located in Fremelles, 18 kilometers west of Lille in northern France. It can be reached by car in 20 minutes via routes E42 and D141. When arriving in Fromelles the cemetery is located on Rue de la Basse Ville opposite the church and civil cemetery. The cemetery has its own parking area. 
Address: Rue de la Basse Ville, Fremelles, France
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