Villers-Bretonneux

Mémorial australien de Villers-Bretonneux. © Sylvie Flament

 

In Villers-Bretonneux: the National Australian Memorial, the Franco-Australian Museum and the Adelaide Cemetery are a testament to the links that bind Australia and France.

While Villers-Bretonneux was the scene of fighting in August 1914 and the incessant movements of French and British troops during the course of the next four years, the name of this large town entered history with the war of 24 April 1918, when the Australian forces brought a definitive end to the German Spring Offensive.


 

Since the Victoria School was built in 1927 and the memorial inaugurated in 1938, the official and private ties between France and Australia have continued to be forged. The twinning with Robinvale and the exhumation of the unknown Australian soldier in 1993 consolidated this special relationship. The history, the annual arrival of the ambassador for the commemoration of Anzac Day and the visits made by countless Australians all year round have given this town in Australia an aura it is difficult to imagine in France.


 


 

Australian Memorial RD 23, direction of Fouilloy/Corbie.


 

This imposing memorial of white stone, standing beyond the cemetery, comprises a tall central tower connected to two simple walls inscribed with the names of the soldiers without a grave. It was inaugurated in 1938 and each year Anzac Day is celebrated there.

Victoria School – Franco-Australian Museum


 

The Franco-Australia Museum is housed on the first floor of the Victoria School, "a gift from the children of the schools in Victoria to the children of Villers-Bretonneux". It illustrates the role of the Australian troops during the First World War, displaying photographs, models, uniforms, weapons and such like. It also houses a documentation centre and a video room.


 


Adelaide Cemetery (coming from Amiens, on the RN 29, at the entrance to the town, on the left).


 

The body of the unknown Australian soldier was exhumed in 1993 and moved from Adelaide Cemetery to be re-buried in Canberra. This event is commemorated by an engraved stele.


 


In Le Hamel, the Australian government built a memorial on the site of the brilliant victory led by General Monash on 4 July 1918, where remains of the trenches are still preserved today.


 


The Franco-Australian Museum

9, rue Victoria 80800 Villers-Bretonneux

Tel/fax: +33 (0)3 22 96 80 79

Email: museeaustralien@aol.com


 

Open from 11 January to 23 December, from Tuesday afternoon to Saturday, 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2-6 pm, and the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 2-6 pm.


 

Somme Tourism Committee

21 rue Ernest-Cauvin 80000 Amiens

Tel: +33 (0) 322 71 22 71

Fax: +33 (0) 322 71 22 69

Email: accueil@somme-tourisme.com


 

The Somme Tourism Committee is on hand to give you all the information you need on the Somme battlefield and the Circuit du Souvenir visitor's trail: commemorations, getting around, transport, guided tours for individuals or groups, helicopter flights, accommodation and more. The Tourism Committee also publishes a range of brochures on Remembrance Tourism.


 

Comité du tourisme de la Somme

La Somme 14-18

 

  • Australian Memorial. Source: DR

  • The Franco-Australian Museum. Source: Didier Cry

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    Practical information

    Address

    9 rue Victoria 80800
    Villers-Bretonneux
    Tél/fax : 03 22 96 80 79 Comité du tourisme de la somme21 rue Ernest-Cauvin80000 AmiensTél. : +33 (0) 322 71 22 71FAX : +33 (0) 322 71 22 69e-mail : accueil@somme-tourisme.com

    Prices

    Free visit

    Weekly opening hours

    Open from 11 January to 23 December, from Tuesday afternoon to Saturday, 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2-6 pm, and the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 2-6 pm.

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