ANZAC Day Dawn Service
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the feats of Australian troops in the battle to re-take the French village of Villers-Bretonneux exactly a century ago at the ANZAC Day dawn service, 25 April 2018. The service was also attended by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, with dignitaries including Britain’s Prince Charles who laid a wreath at the ceremony.
The Prime Minister said the actions of Australian troops who blunted the German army’s Spring Offensive helped pave the way for the eventual Allied victory on the Western Front.
“The Australians were called upon just three years on from the landing on Gallipoli. It was said they had no chance — but they were confident. In classic Australian style. ‘Boys, you know what you have to do — get on with it’.”
Villers-Bretonneux is now home to the main Australian Memorial on the Western Front which Mr Turnbull and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe opened the previous day. The Sir John Monash Centre museum is named after the Australian general responsible for taking the town.
The French Prime Minister has made a tribute to the Australian men who gave their lives in defence of his country, saying they had made the ultimate sacrifice for a land that was not their own at the moving service, that was attended by thousands.