ANZAC Day 2011, 93 Years Since Villers-Bretonneux

Posted in: ANZAC
Written on 11th January 2011 16:28pm

ANZAC Day gives us a chance to remember the Australian and New Zealand men and women who sacrificed themselves in battle so we could continue to live...

On the 24 April 1918 the world's first battle between two tank forces (three German A7Vs and three British Mk IVs) took place at Villers-Bretonneux. German forces launched their attack with an artillery bombardment, consisting of a mix of mustard gas and high explosive shells. This broke a three mile gap in the British front lines and allowed German forces to take Villers-Bretonneux. 


A swift counter attack was launched by Australian forces during the night, by dawn the German lines were pushed back and by the end of the day Villers-Bretonneux was under Allied control again, this was at a cost of over twelve hundred Australian lives.


In 2008, for the 90th anniversary of this battle a commemorative dawn service was held at the Australian war memorial to pay respect to the eleven thousand Australians who died in France during the First World War and have no known grave.


The dawn service is an unforgettable experience, commencing at 3.30am hundreds gather near the Australian Nation War Memorial.


The ceremony, lasting just over an hour is incredibly moving, involving prayers, readings, wreath laying and the playing of the Last Post, while the sun slowly ascends creating the perfect backdrop to the service. 


Whether you travel on you own in in an organised battlefield tour the dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux is an event everyone should experience at least once.


Click here for More Information about the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux.

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