Pheasant Wood is the first new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery to be built in more than 50 years and contains the graves of 250 British and Australian soldiers who died on 19 July 1916 in the Battle of Fromelles.
The bodies were discovered following historical research that included analysis of aerial photographs showing the presence of mass graves on the edge of Pheasant Wood (Bois Faisan), just outside the village of Fromelles. The presence of the bodies was confirmed in May 2008 and they were recovered during excavation work in 2009. A report was published on 17 March 2010 announcing the first 75 bodies to have been successfully identified using DNA analysis, and further identification will continue until at least 2014.
In parallel with the recovery and identification projects, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was asked by the British and Australian governments to construct a new cemetery to house the bodies. Building work on the cemetery began in May 2009 and the dead soldiers were reburied with full military honours in a series of funeral services in January and February 2010.
One final reburial took place as part of the cemetery's dedication ceremony, which was held on 19 July 2010 to mark the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.