First World War


Over 60,000 Australians gave their lives during the First World War. Army continues to work towards finding those that have no known grave.

The Fromelles project

After 2 years of careful investigation, excavations, recovery and identification work by a joint Australian and British Fromelles Project team, 250 Australian and British Soldiers were reinterred with full military honours in individual graves at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery in 2010.

The identification of soldiers lost at the Battle of Fromelles was a priority of the Fromelles Project team. The project examined forensic and artefact evidence, historical information and anthropological data. It conducted DNA testing and matching in an attempt to identify the remaining unnamed soldiers.

Following this examination, recommendations were prepared for the Joint Identification Board. The Joint Identification Board, made up of appointed officials from the Australian and United Kingdom military, as well as forensic advisers, considered all available evidence.

166 Australian soldiers were identified by name through the use of DNA technology, forensic science and historical data. Each identification enabled the Commonwealth War Grave Commission to erect a new headstone at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery bearing a soldier’s name and bringing closure to another family.

Media releases

Five World War I soldiers identified - 24th April 2023

Nine Australian soldiers identified from the Battle of Fromelles - 9th April 2018

Twenty Australian World War I soldiers identified - 26th May 2014