About the Fromelles Association of Australia

The charter of our Association is to commemorate those who fought at Fromelles, France, in 1916, whether Australian, British, or German.

OUR OBJECTS ARE:-

  • To champion the Sacrifice of the Soldiers who served at Fromelles, France, and their families.
  • To promote, encourage, and document research designed to identify the missing soldiers of the Battle of Fromelles.
  • To forge strong relationships with organisations and people interested in the Battle of Fromelles, especially families of soldiers, the Australian Army, and the citizens of Fromelles.

Whilst this is an accurate quote from our Constitution, how does it translate into deeds and who are the patriotic volunteer citizens behind this unique Australian organisation?

In short, what and who is The Fromelles Association of Australia?

The main activities of the Committee focus on:

  • Conducting genealogical enquiries within our States, within Great Britain and Ireland, and elsewhere around the world as and when our search for descendants of our soldiers lead us there.
  • Promoting the remembrance of the Battle of Fromelles annually by participation in events commemorating the Battle, usually on the anniversary of the Battle, on 19th July.
  • Conducting seminars to provide information dealing with the background to the Battle, the searches for living possible DNA donors and providing stories of the individual soldiers, and the effect their loss has had on their soldiers in the decades since their passing.
  • Liaising with governmental bodies both in Australia and externally, along with the Unrecovered War Casualties Unit within the Australian Army, in relation to our searches for connections to those who served.

Behind the scenes, we gain the benefit of the involvement of volunteer genealogists who assist with tracing families from 1916 to the current era.

We gain the benefit of families sharing with us details of ‘their’ soldier who becomes one of ‘our’ soldiers, with information which will become part of our body of soldiers’ stories, for placement onto our webpage.

THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

A five-person Executive is elected each year to conduct the hands-on business of the organisation.

At the annual meeting, the General Committee performs a role similar to that of a Board of Directors; that is, it reviews the results of the Executive for the previous year and provides guidance for the next.

All members are patriotic volunteers who perform their honorary tasks as an ongoing citizens’ gift to those who served at Fromelles in 1916.

Membership is open to all who are interested in, or have a connection to those who served in, the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.

Our Annual General Meeting is held in July each year.

Our Patron is His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd.) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Executive Committee for 2020 – 2021 presently consists of:

  • President — Geoffrey Benn
  • Secretary— Jim Smith
  • Treasurer — Bill Irvine
  • Vice President - Marg O’Leary, Director of Soldiers’ Stories Project
  • Vice President – Ann Watson, researcher and Assistant to the Treasurer

And in addition we have our

  • Director of Genealogy – Royce Atkinson

The Fromelles Association of Australia will endure because it will seek to pursue the objectives listed earlier, until we can say that all the soldiers who served at Fromelles have been given the recognition that they deserved.

The Fromelles Association of Australia is not currently a registered charitable organisation. All funds received are used in the location of information to establish a connection with a possible soldier buried in the mass graves at Pheasant Wood, Fromelles, as well as activities for which payment is required to be provided.

Our Association was incorporated in 2014, and our Constitution was adopted at our first Annual General Meeting in that year.

You can read our Constitution by clicking on the following link.

Contact Details

Postal Address

Fromelles Association of Australia
13 Bromfield Avenue
Toongabbie NSW 2146

General Committee

President Geoffrey Benn geoffrey@fromelles.info 0408 219636
Secretary Jim Smith jim@fromelles.info
Treasurer Bill Irvine bill@fromelles.info
Vice President Marg O’Leary marg@fromelles.info
Vice President Ann Watson ann@fromelles.info
Director of Genealogy Royce Atkinson royce@fromelles.info