John has already been to Europe, or more precisely to Fromelles in Northern France, in July 2010 when DNA tests enabled him to identify his great-uncle Simon . After the discovery of mass graves, the Pheasant Wood cemetery was opened to receive the remains of the 250 soldiers not at that stage identified. Today they are in the plane bringing them from Sydney to Paris. John and his wife Anna are accompanied by their New Zealand friends George and Jane . John came alone in 2010 and they have been planning this trip together for a long time. The destinies of their forebears intersected on the Western Front. Simon fought at Fromelles. Arthur , George’s grandfather, took part in the liberation of Le Quesnoy. Today, John clutches carefully his vial of red Australian soil. On his first trip he had been too overcome with emotion to bring it with him.
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