Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France) Back to Search

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Details

Location D23 Villers-Bretonneux, Villers-Bretonneux, Departement de la Somme - Picardie, France
Type memorial
Description

The Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux is the repository of the names of more than 10,000 Australians who died in France during the First World War but have no known grave. The Memorial is situated a few kilometres north of Villers-Bretonneux on the D23.

The Memorial was completed in 1938 after a somewhat controversial lead up brought about by a shortage of funds during the Great Depression. The British and other Commonwealth Memorials had been completed well in advance of the Australian Memorial.

The Memorial consists of a large central tower with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, flanked by two wing walls carrying the commemorative panels listing the missing.

It is approached from the entrance through a cemetery containing the graves of casualties from around the Commonwealth and of both World Wars.

During the Second World War, the Memorial was used as an Observation Post by the French and was extensively damaged by German aircraft and ground fire. Although repairs were carried out, some scarring can still be seen on parts of the memorial.

Not all of those lost in France with no known grave are memorialised here. VC Corner Cemetery at Fromelles commemorates a further 1 294 Australians lost there on 19/20 July 1916. Another seventeen Australian Flying Corps missing are memorialised at the Arras Flying Services Memorial in the Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery at Arras.

There is a link in the sidebar to information about the annual ANZAC Day Dawn Service. It is very well attended so visitors should plan in advance and check relevant websites for details.

In April 2018, the Sir John Monash Centre was opened. After nearly 100 years there is at last a remarkable interpretive facility that tells the story of the AIF on the Western Front. All Australians can be proud of it,

 

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Opened Not yet discovered
Inscription

Condition

View Tributes of Honour Description

Names

Showing 8 people of interest from memorial

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WOOLLEY, Clement

Service number 2666
Lance Corporal
52nd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1

Thumb phillips 2705 pte frank arthur   serv pic from western mail fri 5 7 1918
PHILLIPS, Frank Albert

Service number 2705
Private
51st Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1898

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HARPER, Clyde McDonald

Service number 5042
Private
49th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Sep 1886

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AKEROYD, Walter

Service number 3232
Lance Corporal
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 9 May 1891

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COLE, Thomas

Service number 2388
Private
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 18 May 1889

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BOND, Francis John

Service number 4763
Private
12th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born May 1887

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KENT, William Henry

Service number 3688
Private
11th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 27 Apr 1878

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WATSON, Frank Charles

Service number 3521
Sergeant
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 21 Jun 1898

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