Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Leading war historian, author and battlefield guide Mat McLachlan is available for interviews and to comment about the battle at Fromelles and the opening of the new cemetery –19 July 2010.

Around 100 family members of diggers killed during the infamous 1916 battle at Fromelles are heading to the battlefield this month to mark the 94th anniversary of the attack and the official opening of the new cemetery (19 July) where many of those lost will finally be laid to rest.

Niche war history travel operator Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours will host 160 Australians on a fascinating tour of the sites at Fromelles, including the opening of the cemetery where the exhumed remains of nearly 250 Australian soldiers have been individually buried following detailed DNA identification procedures.

Mat has spent more than a decade following in the footsteps of Australian troops on battlefields around the world. His 2007 book, Walking with the Anzacs, is considered the definitive guide to Australian battlefields on the Western Front.

Some of the key topics Mat can talk to include:

What happened at Fromelles
Mat is extremely well informed about the bloody 1916 battle at Fromelles which killed 1780 Australians and left more than 3000 maimed or missing.

The controversy around exhumation
Mat is well versed on the controversial subject of exhuming soldiers’ remains which made headlines after a number of mass burial pits situated behind German lines were confirmed near Fromelles in 2008. Mat has extensive experience as a consulting historian on military archaeological excavations, and was involved in the DNA identification of three Australian soldiers uncovered in Belgium in 2006 – as told in his recent feature First World War documentary Lost in Flanders (aired on the ABC in 2009).

Families’ farewell
Of the 250 Australian soldiers discovered, 94 have been positively identified, giving their families the opportunity to visit and farewell a relative in a gravesite that’s finally marked with a name. Around 100 of those family members will attend the opening of the new military cemetery as part of a Mat McLachlan Battlefields Tour this month. How much does this new cemetery mean to them?

Growth in Anzac sentiment
More Australians than ever are travelling to foreign battlefields to walk in the footsteps of the Anzacs. Why are Australians – both young and old – choosing to tap into their heritage through our war history? How can we ensure significant battlefields are preserved for future generations in light of growing tourism to these historic sites?

Attached is a list of identified soldiers from Fromelles. Images can also be downloaded from the following link: http://rcpt.yousendit.com/907275925/f2d76223d5b936c3c7f8d19fe90a55c2

If you would like further information, or to interview Mat McLachlan, please do not hesitate to contact me on (02) 9487 3100.

Kind regards,

Amity Roche
PR Representative for Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours

Amity Roche
Account Director
Anne Wild & Associates Pty Ltd
Ph: (02) 9487 3100 Fax: (02) 9487 3200
Email: [email protected]

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Anne Wild & Associates Pty Ltd

Amity Roche
P: + 61 2 9487 3100
W: www.battlefields.com.au/


Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, Fromelles



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