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Pozieres ReservePrint Page Print this page

12-June-2014 (Chris McLaughlin)
12-June-2014 (Chris McLaughlin)

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin / John Huth / Bryan Hardy
Pozieres Reserve was originally established as a garden reserve to commemorate Australian soldiers who served and fought in Pozieres during World War One. Many of the soldiers came from Swan Hill and District. 

The garden area is now paved but the original plaque still remains and an information sign is located near the plaque. 

SWAN Hill. The town was en fete on Friday on the occasion of the Governor General's visit. The streets were thronged. In the morning His Excellency motored to Nyah, where a couple of interesting hours were spent in inspecting the orchards under irrigation. His Excellency showed a keen interest in every feature of the industry, and delivered a short address, expressing surprise at the wonderful development. In the afternoon the chief event of the visit took place at Swan Hill, in the naming of two garden reserves in M'Callum-street. "Anzac" and "Pozieres," in honor of the district soldiers.
Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic), 10 October 1918.

Location

Address:McCallum & Beveridge Streets, Median Strip near Roundabout, Swan Hill, 3585
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.338852
Long: 143.558309
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 4th October, 1918
Front Inscription

  Plaque:
  Great War 
        1914
Commemoration
          Of
Australian Soldiers
Pozieres Reserve

Left Side Inscription

Pozieres

The Australian 1st Division AIF attacked the French village of Pozieres in the early hours of 23 July 1916 and captured the town after ferocious fighting.  The Germans launched several counter attacks in a desperate effort to regain control from the Australians, but all were repulsed.

The Germans switched tactics - if they couldn't force the Australians out of Pozieres they would destroy them. They launched one of the heaviest artillery barrages of the war and pounded the Australians incessantly - at the height of the bombardment the shells rained down at a rate of twenty a minute.   After three days the 1st Division had lost 5,285 men and the rest were exhausted.   

The Division was withdrawn and replaced by the 2nd Division. German pressure remained relentless and after 10 days the 2nd Division had lost 6,848 men, it too was withdrawn and replaced by the 4th Division. This cycle continued until 3 September - each Division fought until exhausted and was replaced.  When the replacement Division was itself exhausted, the original Division was rotated back into the line.

The 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions were used as a battering ram against the German strong points at Pozieres until they were almost destroyed.  More than 50% of the Australians who fought at Pozieres were killed, wounded or captured.  Many of these men were from Swan Hill and district.  Five Victoria Crosses were won by Australians during the relentless fighting, which took place during the Battle of the Somme.

Lest We Forget

Source: MA
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