Academics stoke Fromelles furore

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The British Parliament will raise questions about the exhumation of 300 World War I soldiers buried in a mass grave in France for more than 90 years.

The all-party parliamentary war graves and battlefield heritage group, chaired by Lord Roper, is expected to reconvene in October and address the mounting controversy about the way the men's remains have been excavated as well as the tender process won by the private company, Oxford Archeology.

The anxiety has been fuelled by the first-hand observations on the Fromelles site by the Belgian battlefield specialist Johan Vandevalle. The Herald reported on Monday that Mr Vandevalle was seconded to the site within a month of the company starting the excavation.

A world-renowned battlefield excavation expert with 25 years' practical experience, he was called to provide emergency advice and remedial works when water threatened to compromise the pits due to rain and inadequate site preparation.

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