Anzac Day in France

On the 25th of April 2018 we will gather at the Australian National Memorial situated just north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France. It is the site of an intense battle fought exactly 100 years before as part of wider efforts to halt a German spring offensive which was threatening to win them the war. Throughout early April in 1918 Australian units helped defend Villers-Bretonneux from this onslaught, but at dawn on the 24th the Germans attacked and captured the town. Leading the British counter attack, the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades enveloped the town and successfully cleared it of Germans on the 25th of April, the third anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli. The service to be held on the 25th of April 2018 at the Australian National Memorial not only marks this remarkable action which effectively ended the German offensive launched a month prior but also Anzac Day.

The official Anzac Day Commemorations on the Western Front are conducted by the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and local communities. All the commemorative services are open to the public.

Information has been prepared to assist visitors planning to attend the Anzac Day services at Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt.

Please be advised that attendance passes will be required for overseas commemorations conducted by DVA within the safe, secure and comfortable carrying capacity of the commemorative sites.

For information about how to obtain an attendance pass to Anzac Day commemorative services and all further information, please visit: www.dva.gov.au/overseascommemorations and https://overseascommemorations.ticketek.com.au/

ANZAC DAY 2018

Service: Dawn Service, Australian National Memorial

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Times:

  • 1am: Park and Ride facility opens (time TBC)
  • 30 am: Site opens (time TBC)
  • 00 am: Pre-service program commences (time TBC)
  • 30 am: All visitors to be seated
  • 00am: Spirit of Place commences
  • 30 am: Dawn service commences

Venue: The Australian National Memorial, (outside the village of) Villers-Bretonneux

Weather: Extremely cold (close to freezing)

Attendance passes: Required – Available

Links

Villers-Bretonneux Town Square Wreath Laying Ceremony – Wednesday 25 April 2018 (French service)

After the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial site, visitors are invited to make their way to the French Monument, Town Centre for the Villers-Bretonneux Town Square Wreath Laying Ceremony which is expected to commence at around 8:45 am. (TBC)

Visitors are reminded it can get quite hot during the day. A small day pack may be useful to carry with extra clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water to avoid dehydration. There is no shelter or seating available at this service.

Villers-Bretonneux Service (French Service)

Service: Anzac Day Service and wreath-laying Ceremony

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Time: Expected to commence at 8.30 am

Venue: Monument aux Morts, Town Centre, Villers-Bretonneux

Attendance Passes: Not required

Villers-Bretonneux Service (French Service)

Service: Sadlier Stokes Scholarship Presentation & Concert

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Time: Expected to commence at 9.15 am

Venue: Our Lady of Hope Church, Villers-Bretonneux (TBC)

Attendance Passes: Not required

Bullecourt Services – Wednesday 25 April 2018

After the ceremony in Villers-Bretonneux, the Anzac Day program continues with a French service in Bullecourt and an Australian service at the Digger Memorial, outside the town of Bullecourt.

 

The Anzac Day Wreath Laying Service at French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre is expected to commence at around 2:00 pm. (French service)

Bullecourt is approximately 45-60 minutes by car from Villers-Bretonneux, and 15 minutes from Bapaume. Due to the large crowds expected, the road through the village of Bullecourt will be closed for local Anzac Day commemorations. Visitors may need to park outside the village and walk into the town for the French service in the town centre, and to the service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial on the village outskirts. Local police and ceremony staff will be present should attendees require assistance.  It should be noted that there is no shelter or seating available at this service.

 

The Australian Service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial on the Bullecourt village outskirts is expected to commence at around 3.00pm.

Please note that there will be no vehicle access to the ‘Digger’ Memorial. The walk from Bullecourt to the ‘Digger’ Memorial is approximately 800 metres. There is no shelter and limited seating available at this service.

Visitors are again reminded it can get quite hot during the day. A small day pack may be useful to carry extra clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water to avoid dehydration.

No public transport is available to Bullecourt – visitors should make their own arrangements.

 

Bullecourt Town Service (French Service)

Service: Anzac Day Service

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Time: Expected to commence at 2.30 pm

Venue: The Commonwealth and French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre – Square du Souvenir Francais

Attendance Passes: Not required

 

Australian Service at Digger Memorial

Service: Anzac Day Service

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Time: 3.00 pm (TBC)

Venue: Digger Memorial on the village outskirts of Bullecourt

Attendance Passes: Not required

Centenary Commemorations on the Western Front

The Centenary of the First World War represents an unique opportunity to honour the service on the Western Front of almost 295,000 Australians, the loss of 46,000 of them and reflect on the consequences of the war on Australian families and communities.

To honour these family members who served on the Western Front , the Australian Government will organise Centenary services in both France and Belgium.

Centenary Services 

To access all commemorative services, visitors will need to register online for an attendance pass. Please register  here.

The commemorative service will take place on Wednesday 4 July 2018 at the Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel, France.

The commemorative service will take place on  Sunday 11 November at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux, France.

The Sir John Monash Centre

The Sir John Monash Centre tells Australia’s story of the Western Front, in the words of those who served.

Drawing on the incredible Australian archive collection, the story of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front battlefields during the First World War is told directly from the personal diaries, letters and service records of the men and women who were there.

This amazing insight into the events that helped shape a nation is delivered through a highly intuitive, interactive system that combines the latest in large scale interactive touch screens and tables with a specially designed ‘app’.

At the heart of the Centre lies a 360 degree theatre that puts the visitor right into the battles of Villers-Bretonneux and Hamel—to experience the Western Front as never before.

Origins

Commissioned in 2006, the Sir John Monash Centre is designed to educate a new audience about Australia’s early role in international affairs, and to share the stories of ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things on the battlefields of the Western Front.

The Centre is named after General Sir John Monash, who led the Australian Corps with outstanding success on the Western Front in 1918. His success in the famous victory at Le Hamel became a template for military operations that followed.

The Sir John Monash Centre establishes a lasting legacy from Australia’s Centenary of Anzac 2014-2018.

For further information, please visit the Sir John Monash Centre website