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Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Villers-Bretonneux is busy getting ready for Anzac Day commemorations.

Signs for the Footy were all up - ready for tomorrow. Green and Gold flags flutter in the breeze in the town square and the French and Australian flags fly side by side.

Anzac Day has a special significance here. Not only is it the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign but it marks the day in 1918 when Australian troops recaptured the town from German occupation. This was very important in the course of the war as Villers-Bretonneux was the last town before Amiens. Had the Germans captured Amiens (a town with essential railway connections) they would have been able to effectively cut all communications between London and Paris.

The symbol for Villers-Bretonneux is very cute - a kangaroo made from the letters VB (initials of the town... not the beer!).

There is a strong connection here with Australia - in particular Melbourne. In 1927 Victorian school children helped raised money to establish a school - Victoria school. In big, bright green and gold letters the words "Do Not Forget Australia" are displayed proudly in the school courtyard.

We then went to the Australian National Memorial just out of town - where we will be attending the dawn service tomorrow. It's very impressive and big.

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