It involved units of the Australian 5th Division and the British 61st Division attacking German positions in and around Fromelles.The German positions were well defended, and the battle led to huge losses by the attacking forces, with particularly heavy losses incurred by the Australian 15th Brigade and British 184th Brigade.
One of the immediate problems faced was deciding on a suitable location.
Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery is a First World War cemetery built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the outskirts of Fromelles in northern France, near the Belgian border.
Constructed between 20, it was the first new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery for more than 50 years, the last such cemeteries having been built after the Second World War.
Although the British and Australian governments, through the FMB, retained overall responsibility, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) was asked to act as their agent and provide day-to-day project management, with the Fromelles Project Manager, provided by the CWGC, also being a member of the Board.
In addition to providing management for the project, the CWGC was asked to construct a new cemetery for the reburial of the bodies that would be recovered.