Pozieres relic to reward Ipswich

DONATING TRENCH TOOL: Phil Gilbert OAM and Barry Gracey.
DONATING TRENCH TOOL: Phil Gilbert OAM and Barry Gracey.

IPSWICH has scored a relic from the battlefield of one of the bloodiest exchanges of the First World War.

The Ipswich RSL sub-branch's support for the Pozieres Remembrance Association, and its mission to put the spotlight on the devastation of the key stage of the Battle of the Somme, will hopefully contribute to the building of a permanent memorial to the Australians who lost their lives on that battlefield in 1916.

The man behind the cause, Barry Gracey, said Pozieres was one of the forgotten battles of the war, even though it involved one of the greatest losses of Australian lives in a relatively short space of time.

"Australia lost 7000 men in six weeks, with 16,000 wounded," Mr Gracey said.

Mr Gracey said Pozieres had fallen almost completely off the radar over the years.

The Ipswich RSL sub-branch responded to a call for individuals and organisations to "buy a brick" for the cause.

As a reward, Mr Gracey presented sub-branch president Phil Gilbert with a trenching tool.

The tool will be displayed in the sub-branch's Memorial Hall museum.

Ipswich war researcher Eddie Habben said he was aware of 22 men from the region who lost their lives during the Pozieres battle.

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