Marking the centenary of one of Australia’s most tragic episodes on the Western Front during the First World War, Pozieres Australians on the Somme 1916 is currently on display at the Shrine of Remembrance until 7 August 2016.
The exhibition recounts the story of Australia’s military operations during the Somme offensive of 1916 which centered on the small village of Pozieres and the nearby Mouquet farm. Official historian Charles Bean would movingly describe Pozieres ridge as being ‘more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on Earth.’
In a series of bloody actions between 23 July and 3 September 1916. the 1st, 2nd and 4th Australian Divisions succeeded in capturing their objectives but at a truly terrible cost: 23,000 casualties, including 6,800 men killed. They succeeded in capturing their objectives but at a truly terrible cost.
The story of Pozières is brought to life with photographs reproduced from the collections of the Australian War Memorial and the Imperial War Museum. Paintings on loan from the Australian War Memorial will include two original works by Frank Crozier, a Pozières eyewitness and Official War Artist.
Private collectors within Victoria contribute highlights to the exhibition including authentic personal, heraldic and technology items from 1916, such as original Australian, British, French and German uniforms, field equipment, annotated maps and medal groups.
Pozieres Australians on the Somme 1916
Shrine of Remembrance, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 7 August 2016
For more information, visit: www.shrine.org.au for details.
Image: Lieutenant John Brooke (1886 – 1929), Hot work by Australian gunners, July 1916. Pozières, Picardy, France – reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial