The dedication of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, Fromelles, northern France, will take place on Monday 19 July 2010. During the dedication, an un-named soldier will be buried. He is the last of the 250 Australian and British soldiers found at the Pheasant Wood site to be laid to rest.
Access to the site will be controlled, for security and safety reasons.
Most invited guests will receive their invitations by post. In the case of the families of Australian soldiers, they will receive their tickets direct. In addition to invited guests, members of the public are welcome to attend, and can apply for tickets for the event, under the following conditions:
- Tickets are free and must not be sold or used commercially.
- Applications must specify the names of all those who wish to attend.
- Unless travelling as part of a tour group, all applicants must apply individually and will be issued with a separate ticket. Tickets will be issued in the name of the applicant. Anyone who has received an invitation to the event does not need to apply for a ticket.
- Tour groups or associations may apply in bulk, as long as the application is accompanied by a list of the names of their party members.
- Tickets will allow access to the public area reserved for spectators and should be carried at all times.
- The field has a capacity for about 4,500 spectators. Plots on the field can not be reserved.
- Spectators are permitted to bring lightweight folding seats or picnic blankets. However, umbrellas, banners or other items that may block the view of others are not to be used during the ceremony.
- The consumption of alcohol is not permitted before or during the ceremony.
- Parking areas will be available, on the outskirts of Fromelles, for those travelling to the ceremony. Access to Fromelles, and the parking areas, will be restricted to ticket holders/tour groups (other than local residents).
- The ticket will allow free use of the shuttle bus between the parking area and the village of Fromelles. There will be a short walk from the drop-off point to the Cemetery and public viewing area.
Placing a Gravestone at Fromelles War Cemetery
Other than invited guests, and the families of Australian soldiers, anyone wishing to attend, including members of the public who may have already registered their interest elsewhere, is requested to order their free ticket from the Service Personnel and Veterans’ Agency (SPVA) by email.
The email address for applications is:
Those who do not have access to email may apply in writing to the SPVA at the following address:
Service and Veterans Support Team, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, Room 6108, Tomlinson House, Norcross, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 3WP
Timings – 19 July
0930 Park and Ride opens
1130 Guests requested to be seated
1200 Official ceremony starts
1300 Official ceremony finishes
1500 – 1800 Private ceremony for families of named soldiers only
1900 Cemetery closed for removal of event infrastructure
Timings – 20 July
0900 – 0945 Private reflection period for UK families
1000 Cemetery open to public – see below
Due to the limited capacity of the local roads, the Gendarmes will establish a traffic control zone on all the approach roads to Fromelles and access to the village will be restricted.
By Car. If you plan to travel to Fromelles by car you will need to use the Park and Ride facility (see map).
By Taxi. There are multiple taxi companies in Lille which may be able to take you to Fromelles. Prior to the event Taxis will be given access to Fromelles for drop off only and will not be allowed to wait in the village. For guidance the approximate fare from Lille to Fromelles is €50. Please do not pre-book your taxi for your return journey from Fromelles as taxis will not be allowed into the village after the event. A shuttle bus will be provided to take you to Beaucamps-Ligny where a taxi rank will be established for your onward journey.
By Tour Bus. Tour buses are required to park at the coach park (see map) . The walk from the coach park to the entrance of the public event site is approximately 600 metres.
All guests will need to show tickets at all Gendarme control points.
There is a disabled parking area close to the village for those with Disabled Car Badges.
There will be spaces for wheelchairs in the public event area and, if required, disabled transport will also be available for the 200 metre distance from the vehicle drop-off point.
Background information about the Battle of Fromelles and the work leading up to the day’s events will be shown on a large screen at the site. The ceremony will also be shown on the screen. The dedication ceremony will include the re-interment, with full military honours, of an un-named soldier by a joint burial party from the Australian and British Armies.
Toilets (including disabled toilets), a First Aid post, information displays and catering facilities where food and beverages can be purchased will be available in the public area, which is a field adjacent to the cemetery. These will be available both prior to, and after, the ceremony.
The weather in Fromelles in July can be difficult to predict, ranging from very hot and sunny to cool and wet. Please note this is an outdoor event; the public viewing area is in a field and you may be there for over two hours, so please dress and prepare accordingly. The ceremony will proceed regardless of the weather. There is no overhead protection from the elements in the public viewing area.
All guests are to carry photographic identification (eg passport or national ID card) in case of security checks at the site.
Mobile Telephones and Photography
Please ensure that all mobile telephones are switched off during the ceremony. Photography during the ceremony is permitted but guests are reminded to pay due respect to the activity being undertaken.
Access to Cemetery and Wreath Laying
On 19 July, access inside the cemetery itself is limited to those participating in the ceremony and to the families of named soldiers buried within.
Visitors wishing to lay wreaths on 19 July may do so near the entrance gate to the cemetery after 1315. At the end of proceedings all wreaths will be taken up to the Cross of Sacrifice.
On Tuesday 20 July UK families will have an opportunity for a reflection period from 9am – 9.45am.
The cemetery will open to the general public at 10am on Tuesday 20 July. Event infrastructure will be being dismantled at this time, but there will be pedestrian access to the cemetery. Safety of visitors is of utmost importance. The parking area will remain closed – visitors will have to park in the village and walk into the cemetery.
Disabled Access – special arrangements
If you think the arrangements above for disabled access may not meet your specific needs please contact SPVA in UK (SPVAfirstname.lastname@example.org) or the Australian Fromelles Project Group on (freecall) 1800 019 090 or email email@example.com