VC Corner

Location

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.

The cemetery is just after the Australian Memorial which is well signposted from the village. You drive down the hill passed the church and out a narrow bending road.

VC Corner Australian
Cemetery

Historical Information

The cross of sacrifice

On the morning of 19th 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 20th 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.

VC Corner Cemetery was made after the Armistice. It contains the graves of over 400 Australian soldiers who died in the Attack at Fromelles and whose bodies were found on the battlefield, but not a single body could be identified.

It was therefore decided not to mark the individual graves, but to record on a screen wall the names of all the Australian soldiers who were killed in the engagement and whose graves were not known.

The memorial, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, commemorates 1 299 Australian casualties.

 

Pheasant Wood

Following the recovery of the remains of 250 soldiers at Pheasant Wood in 2009 sixty eight of those commemorated on this memorial were identified by an Identification Board in 2010.

A further six soldiers commemorated at Villers Bretonneux were also identified, whilst another is in theory already buried at Rue Petillon on the battlefield.

 
The commemorative plaque The 60th Bn

Private George Shephard 2776
Private Thomas Shephard 2778
Their other brother, John 2777 had died on the 12th July and is buried in Marseilles.

A Family Affair

There are numerous pairs of brothers commemorated on the memorial whilst in some cases one brother is here and the other was identified and buried elsewhere.

Those that I am aware of are:

32nd Bn AIF

Pte Archibald Choat 66

20th July 1916,
aged 19

Grave: I L 47

Rue Petillon
Cemetery

Pte Raymond Choat 68

20th July 1916,
aged 24

Panel 5A

VC Corner

53rd Bn AIF

Pte Albert Bromley 4744

19th July 1916,
aged 19

Panel 7

VC Corner

Pte Sidney Bromley 4903

19th July 1916,
aged 23

Grave: VI J 43

Ration Farm
Military Cemetery

Pte John Carey 3481A

19th July 1916,
aged 23

Grave: I F 16

Rue du Bois
Military Cemetery

Pte Timothy Carey 3480A

19th July 1916,
aged 27

Panel 7

VC Corner

Pte Hector McLeod 3273
55th Bn

20th July 1916,
aged 21

Grave II I 4

Anzac Cemetery

Cpl William McLeod 3121

19th July 1916,
aged 29

Panel 7

VC Corner

Pte Eric Wilson 4887

19th July 1916

Found 2009

Pheasant Wood

Pte Samuel Wilson 3534

19th July 1916

Found 2009

Pheasant Wood

Pte Arthur Turner 3462A

19th July 1916

Panel 9

VC Corner

Pte Harry Turner 3455

19th July 1916

Panel 9

VC Corner

54th Bn AIF

Pte Hector McAulay 4391

19th July 1916

Panel 10

VC Corner

Pte Roderick McAulay 4270A

19th July 1916

Panel 10

VC Corner

59th Bn AIF

Cpl Harold Clements 4076

19th July 1916,
aged 26

Panel 15

VC Corner

Lance Cpl Vivian Clements 3055

19th July 1916,
aged 23

Grave: I B 29

Rue Petillon
Cemetery

Pte Roderick Fraser 3282

19th July 1916

Panel 16

VC Corner

Pte Alexander Fraser 1703
60th Bn

19th July 1916,
aged 25

Panel 20

VC Corner

Lance Cpl Gustave Hosie 2844

19th July 1916

Panel 15

VC Corner

Pte Russell Hosie 1948
60th Bn

19th July 1916

Panel 20

VC Corner

Pte Alfred Mitchell 2746

19th July 1916,
aged 21

Panel 17

VC Corner

Pte Sidney Mitchell 2714

19th July 1916,
aged 23

Panel 17

VC Corner

Pte Colin Perkins 2014

19th July 1916,
aged 23

Panel 17

VC Corner

Pte Eric Perkins 2421

19th July 1916,
aged 25

Panel 17

VC Corner

Pte Alfred Phillips 1804

19th July 1916,
aged 32

Panel 17

VC Corner

Pte Edwin Phillips 1743
60th Bn

19th July 1916,
aged 34

Panel 22

VC Corner

60th Bn AIF

Pte David Barr 3474A

19th July 1916

Panel 19

VC Corner

Pte Colin Barr 3479

31st August 1916

Grave: 3 C Z 34

Greenwich Cemetery
England

Pte Charles Franklin 3105

19th July 1916,
aged 26

Panel 20

VC Corner

Pte Herbert Franklin 3104

19th July 1916,
aged 24

Panel 20

VC Corner

Pte Ernest Henderson 3798

19th July 1916

Panel 20

VC Corner

Pte Leslie Henderson 2603

19th July 1916,
aged 20

Panel 20

VC Corner

Sgt Geoffrey Jones 798

19th July 1916,
aged 21

Panel 18

VC Corner

Pte Rolf Jones 3523
59th Bn

15th February 1917

Grave IV D 1

Brookwood
Military Cemetery
England

Pte Alexander McLean 3200

19th July 1916,
aged 22

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte Victor McLean 3209

19th July 1916,
aged 19

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte Patrick McManus 3831

19th July 1916,
aged 24

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte Samuel McManus 2719

19th July 1916,
aged 21

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte William Miller 2735

19th July 1916,
aged 26

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte Robert Miller 2736

19th July 1916

Panel 21

VC Corner

Pte George Shephard 2776

19th July 1916

Panel 22

VC Corner

Pte John Shephard 2777

12th July 1916

Grave: IV A 7

Mazargues Cemetery Extn

Pte Thomas Shephard 2779

19th July 1916

Panel 22

VC Corner

Pte James Spooner 3941
The son

19th July 1916,
aged 25

Panel 22

VC Corner

Pte Edward Spooner 2663
His father

31st July 1916,
aged 45

Grave: E3438

Southend on Sea
England

 

Fromelles: 19 July 1916 Fromelles: 19 July 1916
Pheasant Wood Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery
Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery