The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, have today announced the Royal Australian Mint will next month issue a collectible 20 cent coin commemorating Australia’s Lost Soldiers of Fromelles.
"This coin is a continuation of the Mint’s Australia Remembers series, exploring our nation’s war experiences and military history behind and beyond the battlefields," the Assistant Treasurer said. "The coin design is based on the Cobbers statue which stands in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles.
The design features a circle enclosing an artist’s impression of the Cobbers statue and, to the right, the inscription ’20’. Outside of the circle are the inscriptions ‘Australia Remembers’ and ‘Lost Soldiers of Fromelles’," the Assistant Treasurer said.
The Cobbers statue by Melbourne sculptor Peter Corlett was unveiled at the former battlefield in France in 1998 and a replica is installed at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
"The battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916 was the bloodiest day in Australian military history, with more than 1300 Australians soldiers killed and over 4000 wounded," the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said.
"The fallen of Fromelles have no known grave and a joint Australian/British Identification Board has now begun examining evidence to identify the remains of 250 soldiers recovered from the mass grave. The Board is trying to match the remains of the World War One diggers with DNA samples collected from descendants," Mr Griffin said.
The Royal Australian Mint’s 2010 Australia Remembers project was completed with the association of the Australian Fromelles Project Group and the Office of Australian War Graves.
The first coin in the Australia Remembers series honoured Australian Service Nurses. The Fromelles collectible coin will be available from 1 April 2010.
About the Royal Australian Mint
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Royal Australian Mint (http://www.ramint.gov.au/), Canberra, on Monday 22nd February 1965. The Mint was commissioned to produce Australia’s decimal coinage, which was to be introduced into circulation on 14th February 1966. The Royal Australian Mint holds a place in history as the first mint in Australia not to be a branch of the Royal Mint, London.