Home' Army News : March 28th 2013 Contents Army March 28, 2013
Cpl Nick Wiseman
TWO Lee Enfield .303 rifles bur-
ied since 1916 in France have been
unearthed, returned to Australia and
presented to the two divisions whose
soldiers fought in the area during World
Rusted and decayed over time, the
rifles were discovered around the French
town of Pozieres where an epic battle was
fought and many Australians were killed.
Accompanying and presenting the
rifles was the Mayor of Pozieres, Bernard
Delattre, who spent much of February in
Pozieres Remembered Association
President Barry Gracey said the main pur-
pose of the visit was to serve as a remind-
er to the average Australian that World
War I did not start and end at Gallipoli.
"A great proportion of our soldiers lost
their lives in France," he said.
"While Gallipoli was the start of the
Anzac legend, the Western Front proved
the capabilities of Australian soldiers
against all odds and in all weathers.
"The mayor wanted to ensure that the
soldiers who fought and died in France
were suitably honoured and remembered
for their sacrifice."
The two rifles were carefully selected
from areas where each division fought to
ensure soldiers could have pride in know-
ing that each weapon had historic ties to
The rifle presented to 1 Div was
recovered in the area of the Gibraltar
machinegun post, across the road from
the 1 Div Memorial, while the 2 Div rifle
was recovered near the site of the Old
Windmill -- a site described by military
historian Charles Bean as the one place
on earth most drenched in Australian
Also on Mr Delattre's agenda while
visiting Australia was raising aware-
ness and funding for a memorial park in
Pozieres to honour the Australian soldiers
who died in the battle.
Mr Gracey said the Pozieres
Remembered Association was keen to
assist and get as many people involved
in turning the memorial park idea into
"We need the help of every soldier out
there," he said.
"There are some great prizes available
as part of the fundraising drive."
Details can be found at
of the war
Mayor of Pozieres visits divisions during Australian tour
Piece of history: Pozieres Mayor Bernard Delattre and Commander 1 Div Maj-Gen Stuart Smith unveil
a Lee Enfield .303 rifle (pictured inset) recovered from the World War I battlefield in France.
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