In the snow-blanketed killing fields of Fromelles they finally laid the first of The Missing to rest yesterday, almost 94 years after they fell. They did it with reverence and respect and ceremony. Only one thing was missing: the man who made it all possible.
While the politicians and the bureaucrats basked in the reflected glory of the moment in France’s chilled beauty, Lambis Englezos, the man who spent six years solving the mystery of the Missing soldiers of Fromelles, watched the ceremony on television at his home in Melbourne.
Without Lambis Englezos and his team of supporters the Fromelles Missing would still be languishing, jumbled together in the mass grave at Pheasant Wood, where they were buried by the Germans in July of 1916.
Without Lambis the bureaucrats would still be dumbly clinging to their claims that the experts could not have missed a grave that big and that as “an amateur”, “a crank”, he could not possibly be better informed than they were.
Without Lambis the thousands of loved ones of the Missing would still have no idea what happened to them.
Yet, somehow he has been cut out of the picture.
What a disgrace that, after denying his claims every step of the way, the bureaucrats could not find the grace and generosity of spirit to invite Lambis to be present to witness the culmination of all his tireless work