Premier Mark McGowan has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull requesting that from next year, July 23 will be known across the nation as Pozieres Day, to commemorate one of the nation's most tragic battles.
The Battle of Pozieres commenced on July 23, 1916 at the French village of Pozieres during the First World War, as part of the Battle of Somme.
It recorded an enormous loss of Australian lives in a single military battle, with 23,000 Australian casualties, including nearly 7,000 young soldiers killed over a seven-week period.
To put the battle into perspective, the eight-month battle at Gallipoli claimed 26,000 Australian casualties, including more than 8,000 soldiers killed.
The Australian historian Charles Bean wrote that the site of the Battle of Pozieres was 'more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth'.
Official recognition of Pozieres Day will formally acknowledge the sacrifices of those involved and ensure the battle does not disappear from public consciousness.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The events that occurred in Pozieres in 1916 form a crucial part of our nation's identity and official recognition of the Battle of Pozieres is long overdue.
"It is important we have a national day to recognise the enormous sacrifice made by thousands of young Australians, including many Western Australians."
Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:
"The McGowan Government is keen to ensure that the enormous loss of Australian lives in a single military engagement is remembered appropriately and the legacy of that sacrifice lives on.
"Pozieres should remain in our collective consciousness and should be commemorated on July 23 each year along with other national days of military significance such as Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Long Tan Day, now known as Vietnam Veterans Day.
"Official recognition of Pozieres Day would be a fitting tribute and we invite the community to contribute ideas on how best to commemorate Pozieres Day."
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