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Army October 29, 2009
By Chloe Wootten and
Sgt Andrew Hetherington
THE analysis of more than 6000
World War I military artefacts is
under way at the Pheasant Wood
archeological site in Fromelles,
France, as the painstaking task
of identifying the remains of 250
Australian soldiers continues.
Work at the site is almost com-
plete and the excavation contractor,
Oxford Archaeology, is doing the
final cataloguing and compiling of
the historical finds.
Fromelles project manager Lt-
Col James Brownlie said articles
analysed included a shoulder flash
number "3", a train ticket, leath-
er items, buttons and remnants of
"Another item found recently of
particular interest was a rare type of
buckle, which may have come from
an officer's Sam Browne leather
belt," he said.
Lt-Col Brownlie said such items
would help in the efforts to identify
some of the men.
"Each item recovered with a set
of remains helps to tell the story of
who these men were," he said.
"We hope the meticulous work
undertaken by Oxford Archaeology
will give some of them a named
headstone at last."
Other items of military equip-
ment recovered include a brass oil
container with a spoon for use with
an Enfield rifle, toothbrushes and
Each item is cleaned and
researched in minute detail in the
hope that information may assist in
identifying the remains.
One example was an elaborate
brace fitting stamped with "Shirley
President", which was traced to a
manufacturer in Massachusetts.
Fragments of clothing have also
been found at the site. Among them
were boots and sections of uniform,
a brass sleeve holder and a cardigan
complete with buttons.
A decision is yet to be made on
where the artefacts will be housed
once analysis is complete.
By Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe
ARMY metalsmith WO2 Bruce
Ferguson has taken out a prestigious
OHS award for identifying a high risk
associated with the fitted gas welding
system at ALTC.
The Safety, Rehabilitation and
Compensation Commission (SRCC)
awarded WO2 Ferguson Best Individual
Contribution to Health and Safety at a
presentation dinner at Parliament House
on September 24.
While instructing in the Metalsmith
Cell at ALTC's Armoured and
Construction Wing in 2008, WO2
Ferguson was concerned when he wit-
nessed flashbacks in the welding train-
He said the potential for explosion
was dangerously high and needed to be
"I checked the manifold system and
discovered the pipes were not the correct
diameter," he said.
"This was affecting the gas flow into
the weld bays and causing the flash-
"I knew I had to act quickly as a
flashback can blow the tip off the torch
WO2 Ferguson's innovative solution
was to introduce oxy trolleys to each
The trolleys hold oxygen and acety-
lene cylinders, which provided a safe
and secure means of gas flow into the
bays to allow training to continue.
"At no time was it an individu-
al effort, and without the help of the
off at the pass
metalsmith team and my superiors it
would not have been possible," WO2
"I can't express enough the impor-
tance of OHS within Defence and
encourage all personnel to be proactive.
It's every individual's responsibility."
Earlier this year WO2 Ferguson
received a commendation at the Defence
OHS Awards and is now nominated for
the National Safe Work Australia Awards
Alert to risk: WO2 Bruce Ferguson
with his safety award. Photo by EventPix
Pieces of puzzle
some of the
Fromelles that might
help in identifying
have included a
train ticket (left) and
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