Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

Blogging the Bookshelf header image 2

Don’t Forget me Cobber – “Fromelles” – Patrick Lindsay

January 16th, 2012 · No Comments · Anzac, Australian, Australiana, History, War, WW1

Bean highlights the work of one of the rescuers, 40 year old Victorian farmer, Sergeant Simon Fraser of the 57th Battalion, and quotes from a letter Fraser later wrote him:

“It was no light work getting in with a heavy weight on you back, especially if he had a broken leg or arm and no stretcher bearer was handy. You had to lie down and get him on your back; then rise and duck for your life with the chance of getting a bullet in you before you were safe.

Fraser recalled finding a group of wounded near the German line and, after bringing them in safely, hearing another call for help. He went again and eventually found this man too. He was a big strapping man wounded in the thigh – too heavy for Fraser to carry on his back – so he helped him into a sheltering shell hole and promised to return with a stretcher. As he moved off, he heard another wounded Digger near by call: ‘Don’t forget me, cobber!’. Fraser was able to return with stretchers and bring them both in safely.

The cry, ‘Don’t forget me, cobber!’ has come to symbolise the selfless devotion of those who risked, and often lost, their lives to bring in their wounded mates…. And it prompted the wonderful sculpture by Peter Corlett that today stands in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles. This statue immortalises Simon Fraser’s heroism and stands as a superb symbol of the sacrifice and devotion that characterised the battle and its aftermath. Fraser survived Fromelles and was promoted to Lieutenant in April 1917. Sadly, he fell at the battle of Bullecourt and, ironically, his body was never found.

Tags: ····

No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.