Fromelles: Australia’s Bloodiest Day at War

The Drum series

Book cover image

The first shots were fired at 11 a.m. on 19 July 1916. The Battle of Fromelles lasted less than 24 hours. When it was over, more than 5,000 Australian soldiers had been killed, wounded or taken prisoner — more soldiers died at Fromelles than in the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars combined.

What was the point of this bloody loss of life?

And why, almost a century later, did the attention of the world once again turn to Fromelles?

The story of this battle, and the men who took part in it, is told with compassion and respect, without glorifying war. The weapons and tactics of World War I are explained, and though the story is told mainly from the point-of-view of the Australian soldiers, it is not forgotten that others were involved in this part of history — the British, the French peasants who lived in the area, and on the other side of the trenches, the Germans.

Fromelles is currently out of print. It maybe available from your school or local library. It is available as an ebook from Booktopia and Apple.


“…a fantastic introduction to one of Australia’s most devastating moments in history… for many readers, this is exactly the kind of book that will inspire a love of history for years to come.”

 — Junior Bookseller + Publisher, 2011

“…a great asset for schools, providing insight into Australia’s place in history. Its meticulous research is easy to read and it never gets dull.”

 — Wendy Noble, goodreading, June 2011