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In the red fields of the Somme, millions of poppies wave under the wind, flowers on which so many young men shed their blood and lie down to rest in peace on the soils of France.Today the poppies are the symbols of a generation of men who fought and fell here, they are the strong and eternal symbol of Remembrance in which we are united to honor and bring back to life these young boys who had as only youth,the muddy trenches and the battlefields of the Great War on which they gave their today for our tomorrow and on which they now rest in peace, side by side under the stones of their white graves on which are inscribed and remembered their names, their stories that we will keep alive so that these men will live forever and never be forgotten, so that who they were and what they did for us, their lives, their courage and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Today,it is with all my heart, with respect and gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men who came from so far,one of my boys of the Somme and who, for Australia and France gave his life.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lance Corporal number 6068 Maurice (Molly) Molloy who fought in the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion,D Company, 6th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 104 years ago, on May 22, 1918 at the age of 21 on the Somme front.  
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Maurice (Molly) Molloy was born on September 6, 1896 in Lake Cargelligo, Lachlan, New South Wales, and was the son of Mary Julie Molloy (née Kelle), of Mayview, Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales.Maurice was the grandson of Albert Kelle who was born in Nancy, France, and moved to Australia with his family in 1863.Maurice was educated at Lake Cargelligo State School and after graduation worked as a farmer. 
 
Maurice enlisted on January 25, 1916 in Liverpool, New South Wales, as a Private in the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion which was raised at Broadmeadows, north of Melbourne and after a ten month training period at Broadmeadows Camp, Maurice embarked with the 17th Reinforcement from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A19 Afric on November 3, 1916 and sailed for Plymouth, England, where he was disembarked on January 9, 1917 then was sent to Larkhill Camp to receive his training with the 6th Training Battalion on Salisbury Plain but three weeks later, on January 28, he was admitted to the 2nd Auxiliary Hospital in Southall, near London, suffering from Influenza. 
 
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After recovering and after a brief period of rest, Maurice embarked with his battalion from Folkestone, England, on March 28, 1917 and proceeded overseas for France and was disembarked the next day, on March 29 at Etaples and was sent to the 2nd Australian Divisional Depot and joined the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion on April 1, 1917 and fought bravely during the Third Battle of Ypres, more particularly during the Battle of the Menin Road and then during the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge where, for his acts of bravery on the 4th October 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal with the following citation:
 
"During the attack on Broodseinde Ridge on the morning of 4th October, 1917, this man of the Lewis Gun Section used his gun with great effect on the enemy at extreme personal risk. All his section are full of praise for the splendid work he did during the attack, and for his part in the work of consolidation. During the day he pushed forward with his gun under heavy fire, and silenced an enemy machine gun. On the morning of 9th October, 1917, this man was again conspicuous for his work in obtaining valuable information as to the position of the attacking troops, and bringing it back under heavy shell fire. With great coolness this man guided in the relieving troops successfully afterwards he went forward to one of our posts which had been isolated, and guided the men of the post back under heavy fire."  
 
 
For his bravery, Maurice was appointed Lance Corporal on October 15, 1917 and after terrible fighting the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion was put to rest until the beginning of 1918 then were sent to the Somme to stop the last great German offensive of the war, the Kaiserschlacht.
On April 5, 1918, Maurice and the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion arrived by train at St Roche (Amiens) and marched through Coisy, Lavieville, Bonnay, Heilly, Franvillers but a month later, on May 19, 1918, it was in the Somme that Maurice met his fate.
 
On May 19, 1918, at 3:00 am, Maurice and the men of the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion who were in support of the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion attacked the German lines at Ville-Sur-Ancre, near Morlancourt, Somme, but at 4:35 am , while Maurice and his comrades passed a German post, a German opened fire with his machine gun and Maurice was hit by three bullets in the back, injuring his spine and fell paralyzed, unable to move his legs but his comrades around him evacuated him on a blanket, dragging him over the battlefield and under enemy fire to the Australian trenches and was then evacuated to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station in Vignacourt, Somme, where despite the greatest care, he died of his injuries three days later, on May 22, 1918, he was 21.
 
Today, Lance Corporal Maurice Molloy rests in peace alongside his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Vignacourt British Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Petit fils de Albert Kelle qui naquit à Nancy et quitta la France pour l'Australie en 1863","Grandson of Albert Kelle who was born in Nancy and left France for Australia in 1863." 
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Maurice, you who gave your life, your today so that we can have a tomorrow, a future, I would like, with all my heart, to say thank you for all that you have done and for the peace in which we live thanks to you and for which, for Australia, for France, for humanity, you gave and sacrificed so much on the battlefields of the great war alongside your brothers in arms in the trenches of Belgium and France and here in the Somme where so many of your comrades, in blood and mud, gave their lives in the fields once red with blood on which today the poppies of remembrance grow and which remind us that here, for peace and freedom , for justice, suffered and fought a whole generation of men who shared together the pains and sorrows, the fury and the fears of a world at war which for four years was consumed by flames and ashes and in which were mowed down millions of men, thousands every day at an infernal rate.
Here, in the Somme now silent and peaceful, it was hell on earth for them, they fought in absolutely appalling conditions, in the mud and the cold under the lightning of thousands of cannons which poured down on them death and destruction in the mournful and endless howl of shells that pounded the trenches and the no man's land that day after day turned into lunar soil on which nothing and no one could survive, soils that were once peaceful and verdant in which sang the birds and which became fields of death scarified by kilometers of barbed wire in which were shattered thousands of lives, in which lay lifeless men.In the trenches they fought courageously and held the line without ever taking a step back in the face of the omnipresent death 
In the air, in the smell of poison gas and bodies that could not be buried.They were young and wanted to live a great adventure alongside their friends and in the war, gave their innocence and their youth through their eyes which saw death, comrades being mown down by machine guns and being pulverized by shells, dead and alive shared the same shell holes, the same sinister trenches and were forever marked, traumatized by what they went through and lived but in this endless nightmare they remained strong and brave, they kept their heads high and their smiles on their young faces blackened with mud.exhausted by the war, they dragged the weight of the war under the mud of their shoes, crushed by the weight of their packs, of their rifles on their young shoulders, they suffered for each step forward but found the strength to hold and to move forward one in the other, united together and suffering together, they remained brave and it is together that they went under the fire of the machine guns, in an exceptional courage, they went over the top, walking in blood, with their eyes turned to their goals, they moved forward to their destiny.Together they lived and fought and together, on the battlefields, they fell in the poppies on which they rest today under the rows of their graves, in silence and for the peace for which they gave their lives, their everything.Gone but not and never forgotten, they always stand young and proud, smiling under the rays of the sun which illuminates their names and under the flame of Remembrance which for them will never cease to shine and in which, in the light of remembrance, they will live forever.   
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Thank you so much Maurice, for everything
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.?

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