Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux Back to Search

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Cemetery Details

Location Villers-Bretonneux, Departement de la Somme - Picardie, France
Co‑ordinates N49.870804, E2.498115
Description

The Adelaide Cemetery at Villers Bretonneux is one of the most visited sites by Australians on the Western Front battlefields of France and Belgium.  It is situated to the West of the town on the main road to Amiens. About 500m to the west towards Amiens in a valley below the cemetery is a road which formed part of the 'start line' for the counter-attack by the 13th and 15th Brigades on the evening of 24/25 April 1918 which famously liberated the town and halted the German advance on Amiens during the major offensive called 'Operation Michael' in March / April 1918.

A full description of the cemetery is contained at the CWGC link in the sidebar.

Of particular interest are several graves, including that from which the Unknown Soldier was disinterred in 1992 to be repatriated to Australia for interrment in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Australan War Memorial Canberra.

Another is that marking the fact that a 50 year old soldier of the South Australian 50th Battalion, Private John Anderson (warmemorial.erato.vm.e2.com.au) is buried in the cemetery but his actual grave has been lost.  The 50th Battalion attacked around the southern flank of the town as part of the 13th Brigade during the famous counter attack on ANZAC Day 1918 which re-captured the town and halted the German advance on Amiens.

Another is a much decorated soldier, Company Sergeant Major Philip Bonhote (/explore/people/243988) of Tasmania, a member of the 52nd Battalion which was a composite WA / SA / Battalion and  part of the same Brigade as the 50th Battalion  Aged just 25, he had already been awarded  awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal, but his luck ran out on the evening of 24th April 1918.  The headstone is marked "Believed to Be" meaning the remains were not able to be positively identified as his. He is therefore also listed on the Wall of Remembrance at Villers Bretonneux.

 Steve Larkins - 2 January 2014

 

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Stories

SA Premiers Prize 2013

This photograph show the 2013 South Australian ANZAC Premier's Prize group visiting the cemetery as part of their program in April 2013.

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Names

Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

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CRUICKSHANK, John

Service number 397C
Private
2nd Machine Gun Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1 Feb 1893

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FORSTER, Charles Alfred Porter

Service number 3391
Private
59th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 19 Jan 1898

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NELSON, Francis Michael

Service number 339
Lieutenant
32nd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 31 Jul 1884

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O'REILLY, William Edward

Service number 7303
Private
9th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 17 May 1895

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LOTON, Roy

Service number 4875
Driver
1st Field Artillery Brigade
AIF WW1
Born 1896

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THOMPSON, William James

Service number 2247
Private
5th Pioneer Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1893

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SMITH, Frank

Service number 595
Captain
51st Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Mar 1891

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CHANDLER, Richard William Edward

Service number 505
Private
5th Machine Gun Battalion
AIF WW1

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