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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ZORNIG, William Hermann

Service number 2744
Corporal
47th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Feb 1896

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ALLEN, David Henry

Service number 185
Sergeant
52nd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1895

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BIGNELL, Sydney Kingston

Service number 3526
Private
31st Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 13 Dec 1892

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ELCOCK, Jeremiah

Service number 628
Lance Corporal
25th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1896

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MCDONALD, Allan

Service number 2440
Private
59th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Mar 1892

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SMITH, Frank

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

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ARCHBOLD, William James

Service number 3257
Private
41st Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1898

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GILL, William Edward

Service number 2915
Private
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Dec 1893

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