Fromelles and Pozières
On 19 July 1916 the Australians attacked at Fromelles, with disastrous results. The Australians suffered a shocking 5,500 casualties – their greatest losses in a single day. It was a harsh lesson about the scale and intensity of warfare on the Western Front.
Four days later, Australians went into action on the Somme, attacking and capturing Pozières. Under heavy bombardment, casualties grew over the next few weeks, eventually totalling 23,000.
Fighting continued on the Somme through the autumn mud and a bitterly cold winter. Australian casualties continued to mount, and the men’s health deteriorated in the conditions.