RAYMOND HOLSTEIN PFLAUM
Service Number: 161
Units Served: 32nd Battalion
Personal Details: Raymond Holstein Pflaum was born 14th October 1897 in Blumberg (now Birdwood). His parents were Theodor and Mary Jane Pflaum. He was educated at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide. He was a member of the Blumberg Rifle Club for six months and a Senior Cadets with J Company 79th Battalion for two years. Before he enlisted he was a shop assistant.
Enlistment Details: He enlisted on 21st July 1915 at the age of 18, he was 5' 81/2" tall, weighing 152 lbs, with fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.
He was transferred to the 32nd Battalion on 16th August 1915 and left Adelaide aboard the HMT "Geelong" arriving in Suez on the 18th December 1915.
He embarked from Alexandria on the 17th June 1916 aboard the HMT " Transylvania" arriving in Marseilles on the 23rd.
He faced battle for the first time at the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th July 1916. Originally, he was thought to have been taken as a prisoner at this battle and died later in November in Germany. However, there was evidence to suggest that he may have been mortally wounded and died in German hands very soon after the battle. This supposition was verified when his body was among those recovered from a mass grave at Pheasant Wood and his remains have been officially identified. This was due to the efforts of Mr. Lambis Engelzos AM, a teacher from Victoria whose brilliant detective work and dogged determination to be heard by officials, and Mr. Tim Whitford a former soldier who was also involved in the search, locating the mass grave.
Burial Details: Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery I.B.11
Interesting Material: On 19th July 2010 several members of the Pflaum Family attended a special commemoration at the new cemetery to mark the completion of the archaeological excavation and reinterment of 250 Australian and British Soldiers who died at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.
Flo Bourke has written a song called “Known only Unto God” about the Raymond Pflaum story.