Lambis will give an after dinner talk at Rydges Horizons on Wednesday 26th November. The cost of the two course dinner plus a dessert plate is $50 per person. Please book directly with Horizons, phone 6456 2562. The evening will start at 6pm and numbers are limited.
On November 26th, the Snowy Alpine Heritage Association are honoured to host Lambis Englezos AM., the retired Melbourne school teacher with a passion for military history who was front and centre of the discovery of the mass grave of Australian soldiers who had died in the battle of Fromelles in Northern France on the night of the 19th and 20th of July 1916.
Fromelles has been labelled "worst 24 hours in Australian history". Two thousand Australian soldiers died on a single horrifying night during the battle. In that appalling 24 hours, there were 5,533 Australian casualties – that is the same number of casualties suffered by Australians in the Boer War, Korean War and Vietnam War put together.
At least 7 men from the Snowy River Shire (Dalgety Shire as it was then called) fought with the Australian 53rd Battalion at Fromelles. Four were among the casualties. Jindabyne's James Adams was killed, his friend Albert Filtness was wounded as were Henry Pattrick and Albert Hetherington from the Adaminaby area.
For the families of about 200 soldiers killed at Fromelles, the truly dreadful thing about this battle was that the bodies of their loved ones were never found – no photo of the grave, no way of achieving any closure. For decades, their fate was one of the great mysteries of the First World War.
It was Lambis Englezos who discovered inconsistencies in the records of the buried and missing from the battle had pushed government and military authorities until they agreed to reopen the case. In 2008 Lambis and his colleagues were finally vindicated when the mass burial site was found, right where the team of "amateurs" had said it would be.
Thanks to his good friend Bob Cleworth (also a military historian of note), Lambis will be in Jindabyne to talk about his work which brought closure to so many Australian families after 90 years of wondering about their lost soldier.