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First World War Armistice

Centenary of the First World War Armistice

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Snapshot
Service: Centenary of the First World War Armistice
Date: Sunday, 11 November 2018
Time: 10.30 am
Seating style: All seated: Chairs on a flat, grass area
Venue: The Australian National Memorial, (outside the village of) Villers-Bretonneux
Weather: Extremely cold (close to freezing)
Atendance Required
Visa requirements: Australian passport holders — Check your visa requirements
Security: Airport-style screening

Getting to the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux

The Australian National Memorial is located approximately 20km east of Amiens and is roughly half-way between the town of Villers-Bretonneux and the towns of Corbie and Fouilloy. Amiens is situated approximately 150km north of Paris.

Visitors approaching the Australian National Memorial site from Corbie and Fouilloy on foot will be directed to the pedestrian/bike path which runs parallel to the road. Those approaching from Villers-Bretonneux will walk along the designated pedestrian/ bike path to the Memorial site. At the end of the pathways you will enter the Memorial and move through airport-style security screening onto the promenade area. From here you will walk approximately 300 metres on grass, slightly uphill through the centre of the cemetery to the seating area. The surface is grass and may be slippery if damp.

Seating

Seating at commemorations is not allocated or reserved (other than a limited area for Accessible Seating visitors who have registered) and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

You should be aware that large groups may not be able to sit together and you may be separated from your group and/or tour guide. You should make sure that you have your guide’s contact details in case you are separated.

Accessible seating services

If you nominated within your application a requirement for accessible seating services, your accessible seating pass will be sent with your attendance pass. Each registered individual will receive two accessible seating passes one for the individual with the need and one for a carer or accompanying person. Both you and the carer, or accompanying guest must hold an attendance pass to the Commemoration in their own right. If you have left Australia before receiving these passes, you can collect them at the information tent.

Accessible seating provides

  • Use of wheelchair accessible shuttles along all event shuttle transport routes.
  • Transport from the coach set down point at the ANM to the accessible seating area.
  • Access to a limited number of dedicated accessible toilets.
  • Transport from the accessible seating area to the Coach pick-up point at the ANM.

Accessible seating does not include

  • Personalised or dedicated one-to-one assistance.
  • The provision of carers, wheelchair pushers, or physical assistance with seating or embarking and disembarking vehicles.
  • Wheelchairs, walkers or mobility aids — any visitor requiring this assistance must bring their own.
  • Oxygen or personalised medications.
  • Specialised support for "high care" individuals.
  • Support travelling to, or from, your accommodation.

Children and Infants

Please seriously consider how well your child or infant would cope with the travel and environmental conditions appropriate to the service you are attending. It is important to remember that there are only limited toilet facilities, with no infant changing or parenting facilities at the commemorative sites.

If you are planning to take an infant aged three years or under to the commemorations, they are exempt from holding an attendance pass however they are not afforded a seat at the commemorations and they must sit on the lap of an attendance pass holder.

Weather

Attendees at an overseas commemoration will be exposed to the elements, without shelter for hours and can experience all weather extremes. The weather is expected to be cold and wet. Warm jackets and boots are recommended. Check the service specific information page to see what weather to expect and prepare for.

Accommodation

DVA is unable to assist with accommodation bookings or advice, however, you may wish to visit Somme Tourisme for more information.

Health, fitness and first aid

Visitors will often need to stand and queue for long periods at times, for security screening to enter the commemorative sites, as well as for the limited public amenities. You may be required to to walk long distances, over rough and uneven ground.

Limited medical support is provided by local health authorities at the commemorative sites. If you require any medical equipment, including medications, wheelchairs or mobility aids, you will need to bring these with you.

Medical support is designed to deal with medical emergencies. It is recommended you bring band-aids, asprin/ paracetamol and sunscreen with you as these are not provided by the first aid teams.

What to expect

Attending this centenary Commemoration is a once in a lifetime experience, but it is important that you know what to expect. The ANM has no permanent seating infrastructure or shelter. As the Commemoration will be in the morning at an outdoor venue, it is important that you ensure you are prepared for the very cold conditions experienced in November and the potential for wet weather.

You should expect to walk 300m uphill when you arrive at the ANM, approximately two AFL field lengths, to access the seating area.

Limited accessible seating and support are provided to those with a need. While seating will be provided for all attendance pass holders, they are allocated on a first-in basis and some sections have restricted and/or indirect views of the Commemoration.

Security and crowd management arrangements will be in place, including airport-style screening and bag searches. Strict prohibited items list will be enforced. You should follow the instructions of security personnel at all times.

Limited medical support is provided by French health authorities at the Commemoration. You should ensure you bring your own medication, including non-prescription pain relief medication which is not available from authorities on site. The medical support provided is equipped for medical emergencies and is not designed to treat minor ailments.

Before you depart

Register your travel

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides travel advice to international travellers on Smartraveller. It is recommended that Australians travelling abroad for national commemorative services monitor this advice and register their details at the Smartraveller. Registration means you will be advised of any changes to the travel advisory and allows DFAT to get in touch with you or your family in the event of an emergency.

Obtain travel insurance

Travel insurance is a 'must have' for overseas travel, so make sure that you have organised cover before you leave Australia or your home location. Overseas medical care and repatriation is very expensive. If something unexpected happens and you do not have the appropriate travel insurance, you are personally liable for all costs. Make sure your insurance covers all the activities you will be undertaking and any pre-existing medical conditions. It is important to be clear about what is covered under your policy — if in doubt, talk to your insurer.

Check your passport

You will require a current passport to travel outside of Australia and you will need to ensure your passport has at least six months validity after the date you arrive in the country you are travelling to. Contact the Australian Passport Office on 131 232 or visit the Australian Passport Office for information if you need to apply for or renew a passport.

Check your visa requirements

France is located within the Schengen Area of the European Union (EU). If you are travelling on a passport issued by Australia then you do not require a visa to enter this area of the European Union if you are staying less than 90 days.

Individuals travelling on passports issued by countries other than Australia may need an entry visa. The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders and a list of countries whose citizens are exempt from that requirement. Further information can be located at European Commission.

Laying a wreath

Wreath laying, by invited official representatives, will occur during the services.

Members of the public who wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute (wreath/ tribute) will have the opportunity to do so at the conclusion of the service. Those members of the public who wish to lay a wreath/ tribute are required to register their details at the information tent or by emailing the following details to overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au — wreath-laying registrations from the public will need to be submitted by 10 November 2018:

  • your attendance pass registration Application ID Number
  • the name and title of the person(s) laying the wreath/ tribute
  • the name of the organisation/ group or the person/ relative being represented

Members of the public who are laying a wreath/tribute are to supply their own and it is their responsibility to carry it with them, care for it and transport it to the Memorial. There are no facilities or arrangements for storage or transport of personal wreaths at the Memorial.

Guides, apps and other event information

Australian Remembrance Trail

Explore the Australian Remembrance Trail online, with access to audio guides, interactive maps, images and historical information. You will step back in time, reliving the experiences of the soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force. Stay informed of updates to the Australian Remembrance Trail via Anzac Portal.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's (CWGC) war graves app provides information about the cemeteries around the world and allows you to search for the location of an individual’s war grave. Visit CWGC to download the app.

Australian Embassy in Paris

Find out about the broad range of events organised by local French communities in the Somme around April and throughout the year. Download the 2018 commemoration ceremony dates calendar.

Further reading

Visitors wishing to locate a particular grave or name on a memorial to the missing should consult Commonwealth War Graves Commission to identify the exact location of the grave or name on a 'memorial to the missing' prior to travelling to France or Belgium. Limited assistance will be available on the day.

Contact information

In Australia

Department of Veterans' Affairs

For Consular Assistance in France

Have you registered on Smart traveller? Visit Smart traveller for the latest travel advice.

Emergency helpline

Consular emergency centre 24-hour phone service:

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