9 December 2016
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today launched a free educational app about the First World War Battles of Fromelles and Pozières to mark their 100th anniversaries this year.
The Battle of Fromelles (19 July 1916) was the first major engagement by Australian soldiers on the Western Front where the Australian 5th Division suffered 5,533 casualties in just 24 hours — the bloodiest day in Australia’s wartime history. The Battle of Pozières (23 July to 5 September 1916) involved another three Australian Divisions capturing and holding the village of Pozières fighting their way towards nearby Mouquet Farm. When the Australians were withdrawn on 5 September, they had suffered some 24,000 casualties.
The Australian Government commissioned the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to develop the app which allows users to explore both Battles via a 3D map that contains contemporary diary entries narrated by actor Hugo Weaving.
Mr Tehan launched the app at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, which has received a $22.5 million commitment from the Anzac Centenary Public Fund to upgrade its facilities.
“It is our duty to educate future generations about the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in defence of our nation,” Mr Tehan said.
“This app will educate users about the experiences of the Australians who fought at Fromelles and Pozières and the important contribution they made to the Allied victory in the First World War.
“I encourage people to download this free app and learn more about this important period of Australian history.”
ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie said the ABC was proud to have developed ‘Days of Conflict: The Battles of Pozières and Fromelles’ app.
“The ABC extends its thanks to the Minister, the Department and the Government for making it possible to tell these 100 year old stories in a new way and hope that, in their new digital formats, they will be used to inform and educate generations of Australians for many years to come,” Ms Guthrie said.
The app is the second in a proposed series of six that will be produced during the Anzac Centenary period, 2014 to 2018. The first app, Gallipoli: the first day, was released in 2015 and four more apps are proposed to mark the centenary of significant battles and campaigns and to explore important aspects of the war – Passchendaele and Beersheba in 2017, and The Women’s Front and Armistice and the Homefront in 2018.
WWI: Fromelles and Pozières can be downloaded for free across Apple and Google app stores. Non-tablet users can access the Days in Conflict: Fromelles and Pozières websitewww.abc.net.au/fromelles-pozieres