The remains of five AIF soldiers will be laid to rest today with full military honours in the Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood, Belgium. The remains were discovered by chance in September 2006 during roadwork and pipe-laying excavations near the small village of Westhoek. This is situated in the middle of the dreaded Ypres-Passchendaele Salient where up to half a million casualties on both sides fell, of which tens of thousands were either never recovered or were unidentifiable.
Pilgrimage to Passchendaele: a killing field haunted by family memories, Telegraph (UK), 30 July 2007
Diggers remembered in Passchendaele ceremonies, ABC News (Australia), 13 July 2007 (includes online audio feature)
While 11 April 1917 saw the launch of the first action at Bullecourt, on 9 April the larger Arras Offensive commenced. The Arras Offensive of 1917 is often referred to as the Battle of Arras and is a significant battle honour more identified with the British Army. This offensive does however also incorporate the smaller ‘battles’ and 'actions' of the Scarpe, of Vimy Ridge which the Canadians commemorate, and Bullecourt which Australians identify with. (See post on battle honours – Bullecourt)