One hundred years ago today:
As darkness fell on the night of 22 July, George’s 2nd Brigade was positioned in the reserve area of Sausage Valley to the south-west of the ruined village of Pozieres … Enemy shells and shrapnel burst around the men as their fellow brigades moved forward into front-line positions. Soon after midnight, the 1st and 3rd brigades advanced on the ring of enemy trenches which surrounded the pulverised remains of Pozieres … As the sun rose on 23 July the Australians reached the centre of the village following some of the most courageous fighting yet on the Western Front. In capturing the village, the Australians had created a salient which projected into enemy territory. German infantry and artillery could now enfilade their position from three sides. Later the following day, the men of the 2nd Brigade moved forward from their reserve position. George, part of the 2nd Light Trench Mortar Battery responsible for firing the Stokes mortar, pushed forward into the haze of smoke and dust. (Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers int the War to End All Wars)
In just under eight weeks the 1st ANZAC Corps suffered over 24 000 casualties, nearly 6800 men lost their lives, about 4000 of these brave soldiers have no known grave. Remember Pozieres today.