Fromelles: Our Darkest Day
One hundred years ago, on 19 July 1916, in the French village of Fromelles, Australia suffered its worst ever military defeat when a British officer ordered 15,000 of Australia's best and bravest to go 'over the top' and attack the German lines. Eight hours later more than 5500 Diggers lay dead or wounded - the equivalent of all Australian casualties from the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars combined. Many of those who died disappeared from the official record, their fate remaining unknown for close to a century. In this evocative and enthralling retelling, Patrick Lindsay takes us back to the killing fields of northern France. Fromelles is also the story of the quest to find the missing Diggers from the WWI battle. Covering the archaeological dig at Pheasant Wood which confirmed, at last, the final resting place of up to 400 missing Diggers and Tommies buried by the Germans after the battle. This discovery was the largest mass grave found since the Second World War. The recovery of the missing Diggers remains and the names of those who have been identified from their DNA, as well as the opening of the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetary are also included.
After a long career as a print and television journalist, Patrick Lindsay has also become one of Australia's leading non-fiction authors. Among his published books are: The Spirit of Kokoda (Hardie Grant), the story of the battles which saved Australia in WWII; TheEssence of Kokoda, a concise guide to the Kokoda story; The Spirit of Gallipoli. Cosgrove ... Portrait of a Leader; Kokoda Spirit exploring the spirit of the Diggers of Kokoda in words and images; and The Coastwatchers covering the story of the remarkable band of men and women who reported on the Japanese operations, many from behind enemy lines, during WWII. Prior to writing full time, Patrick spent 20 years in network television as a reporter, presenter, producer and writer. During that time he had leading roles on the Nine Network, Foxtel's Lifestyle Channel and the Seven Network. He has also reported, written and presented documentaries and feature series in Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, France, Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, London, Romania and Papua New Guinea. He wrote and directed the acclaimed documentaries, Kokoda ... the Bloody Track and Kokoda ... The Last Parade. Patrick devised the format for the highly-successful documentary TV series, In Their Footsteps, broadcast on the Nine Network in 2011. Patrick is a founding director and Chairman of the Kokoda Track Foundation Ltd (see www.ktf.ngo), an Australian philanthropic organisation that aims to repay the selfless help given to Australia during World War II by the beloved Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of Papua New Guinea by helping to improve the lives and futures of their descendants. In 2015, Patrick was named a Member of the Order of Australia for 'significant service to the media as a television presenter and journalist, to international relations, and to literature as an author'. Patrick and his wife Lisa Cotton live in Sydney. He has three grown-up children, Nathan, Kate and Sarah and one grandson, Lucas.