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Tribute for one of the fallen at Fromelles

08 June 2012

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission exists to commemorate the fallen from the two world wars, and the passage of time does not diminish the importance of the work.

There are regular reminders of how much the commemoration means, as much to the relatives and family friends of the casualties of the first war as of the second.

One such reminder is the case of Private Henry V "Harry" Willis, of the Australian Infantry, who died in the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Private Willis was among the 250 soldiers whose bodies were discovered in mass graves at Fromelles in 2008. He now lies in the newly built Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery.

A recent visitor to the grave left a card, making clear how much it meant to be able to stand at the graveside.

The visitor wrote: "Young Harry was sorely missed by his family. He lay undiscovered for ninety years. A small medallion from his native shire of Atherton, Victoria, led to his reinterment with so many of his comrades in this cemetery. God bless you Harry." 

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