ANZAC Day at Villers-Bretonneux in Amiens, France

Posted in: ANZAC
Written by Jamie on 5th May 2010 at 15:50pm

On Sunday 25 April 2010 we join fellow country men and local towns people to remember those who fought during the Great Wars at one of the most poignant sites...


Sunday 25 April 2010, a time to join fellow country men and local towns people to remember those who fought during the Great Wars at one of the most poignant sites. When the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, it was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 who were killed or died of wounds or disease.

 

The Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history. After a week long artillery barrage, the Allied forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 25 mile front but German troops anticipated the attack and had consolidated their position and escaped to underground shelters. Believing they had obliterated the enemy, British troops slowly approached German lines. What followed was the massacre of 60,000 British and Commonwealth troops, now known as the Battle of The Somme.

 

The first anniversary of the landing in 1916 was observed by Australia, New Zealand, England and by troops in Egypt. That year, 25 April was officially named ‘Anzac Day.

 

Hints for travel:

 

If you're travelling on your own...

 

Don't miss The Lochnagar Crater, La Boisselle - This mine crater, 100 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep is the only one open to the public and marks the launching of the Battle of the Somme by British troops on 1st July 1916.

 

Or for an up close look at life in the trenches during this time, visit the 'Somme 1916' Museum, Albert. This 230 meter underground passage is punctuated with alcoves and showcases with eerily realistic sound effects, lighting and pictures.

Open every day from 1 February - 15 December, 09:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:00 (09:00-18:00 1 June - 30 September).

Adults: €4.00

Children €2.50

 

The National Australian Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux - Location of the annual Anzac Day celebration and the white stone memorial which bears the names of all the missing soldiers who do not have a known grave. On the first floor of the village school building is the Franco-Australian Museum, more than worth a visit! The memorial is open all year round and is free of charge, while the Museum can be visited between 11 January - 23 December from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-18:00 or on the first and third Sunday of the month, 14:00-18:00.

Adults: €3.05

Children: €1.55 (under 6yrs go free) 

 

The Chapel of the 'Souvenir Français', Rancourt is another interesting place. Originally built at the wish of a family from this region who wanted to commemorate their son and his comrades, who were killed in battle on 25th September 1916, this memorial chapel is now maintained by the Souvenir Français association and holds an official ceremony every second Sunday of September.

Open every day from 1 April - 30 September, 08:00-18:00 and every day from 1 October - 31 March, 10:00-17:00.

Free of charge.

 

Organised Tours...

 

If you'd prefer an organised tour, this 6 day Anzac Battlefield Tour on the Western Front will cover all the great parts with no need to spend days planning ahead.

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