AIF BURIAL GROUND
On Thursday 4th September 2014 Stephen and I drove to the AIF Burial Ground, which is located 2 km north of the small village of Flers, in the Department of the Somme, France.
According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/, this cemetery was used by Australian medical units from November 1916 to February 1917. There were other burials made from spring 1917 to the summer of 1918. Further burials were made after the Armistice for soldiers who had buried in temporary graves on the battlefields of the Somme and elsewhere.
There are 3,475 First World War Commonwealth soldiers either buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 2,263 of the burials are of unidentified soldiers.
Spencer John Letcher, a painter on enlistment per his service record, who joined the Coo-ees at Bathurst, is the only Coo-ee buried in this cemetery. He died of wounds on the 6th August 1916, and was buried on the battlefield in the vicinity of Pozieres. After the war his remains were recovered by the Imperial War Graves Commission and reburied in this cemetery.
The photograph below shows Private S. J. Letcher’s grave 3rd from the right at the AIF Burial Ground. His age is given as 18. The inscription at the bottom of his headstone reads “For Australia”. The two headstones on his right are both for unknown soldiers.