March 2019

LGC scientist helps identify seven soldiers from Battle of Fromelles

Seven more Australian soldiers fallen at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916 have been formally identified, the Australian Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester announced earlier this week.

Victoria Moore, DNA specialist at LGC, has been heavily involved in the project to identify fallen soldiers from the battle since the remains of 250 soldiers were discovered in a mass grave in 2009.

“We are consistently grateful to all the family members who donate their DNA to assist in the identification process,” said Victoria. “It’s extremely moving to hear the stories of these men and the impact this knowledge has on the families.  In particular, for one family group this year, we have been able to identify the grandfather of one of the donors, which brings home how important these discoveries still are.”

LGC works with the Australian Uncovered War Casualties Army Unit and the Fromelles Identification Board. Each year, every outstanding case is carefully reviewed and new scientific testing methods and approaches are introduced to support identifications.

This year marks the tenth annual review year since the remains were discovered and in that time, 166 soldiers have been identified in the joint effort, including nine soldiers last year.

The soldiers identified this week are: Private Arthur George Batt, 32; Private Edward James Hope, 28; Private Leslie Clark Dunn, 28; Private George Honey, 31; Lance Corporal Ralph Johnson, 19; Lance Corporal John Alexander Crawford, 32; Private Peter Paul Shannon, 35.