P09291.453

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P09291.453
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film original negative 120 safety base
Photographer Unknown
Date made c October 1915

Description

Studio portrait of 161 Private (Pte) Raymond Holstein Pflaum, 32nd Battalion. A shop assistant of Blumberg, South Australia, prior to enlistment, he embarked with A Company on 18 November 1915 aboard HMAT Geelong (A2) for Suez. The battalion relocated to the Western Front, France during mid-June 1916. Records from the Red Cross during the First World War suggested that Pte Pflaum had died of wounds on 24 November 1916 while a prisoner of war of the Germans. However, after further research by the Pflaum family, it was eventually discovered that he had been wounded at Fromelles on 19 July and picked up by German stretcher bearers. The Germans provided the information that he had died on 21 July 1916 and also returned Pflaum's identity disc to the family. He was aged 19 years. Initially he had no known grave but, in 2008 a burial ground containing the bodies of 250 British and Australian soldiers was located at Pheasant Wood, France. The soldiers died during the Battle of Fromelles on the night of 19-20 July 1916 and were buried by German troops. In 2010 all of the remains were reburied in the newly created Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. At the time of the official dedication of the cemetery on 19 July 2010, ninety-six Australians had been identified through a combination of anthropological, archaeological, historical and DNA information. Since then other Australians, including Pte Pflaum, have been identified.