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Villers-Bretonneux

Anzac Day Service

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Anzac Day Service

Snapshot
Service: Anzac Day Service
Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019
Time: TBA:
TBA: Australian National Memorial opens
TBA: Official commemoration commences
Seating Style: Non-allocated seating will be provided for visitors attending the ceremony on a first-come, first-served basis with individual chairs on the grassed area
Venue: The Australian National Memorial, (outside the village of) Villers-Bretonneux
Weather: Extremely cold (close to freezing)
Attendance Passes: Attendance pass required — Register your attendance
Visa requirements: Australian Passport holders — Check your visa requirements
Security: Airport-style screening, including restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels
Important notes: Due to the installation of technical equipment for the conduct of the commemoration, for safety reasons the central tower of the Australian National Memorial will be closed to the public from 22 April 2019

Links to further information

Introduction

On 25 April 2019 we will gather at the Australian National Memorial (ANM) situated next to the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery just north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France. The ANM is the site of an intense battle fought over 100 years before as part of wider efforts to halt a German spring offensive which was threatening to win them the war.

Throughout early April, in 1918, Australian units helped defend Villers-Bretonneux from this onslaught, but at dawn on the 24 the Germans attacked and captured the town. Leading the British counter attack, the Australian 13 and 15 Brigades enveloped the town and successfully cleared it of Germans on 25 April, the third anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.

The Commemoration, on 25 April 2019, not only commemorates this remarkable action which effectively ended the German offensive launched a month prior but also marks the 104 anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.

Getting to the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux

The Australian National Memorial (ANM) is located approximately 90 minutes’ drive north of Paris and sits adjacent to the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery. It is located on Route de Villers-Bretonneux 80800 Fouilloy, 20km east of Amiens and is roughly half-way between the town of Villers-Bretonneux and the towns of Corbie and Fouilloy.

The ANM site is exposed to the elements with no protection from the prevailing weather conditions. Those attending the Anzac Day Commemorative Service should wear suitably warm and waterproof clothing and footwear to ensure their comfort while participating in the commemorative service. Please note, for safety reasons, umbrellas will not be permitted on the ANM site and ponchos will be distributed in wet weather.

Security and crowd management arrangements will be in place, including airport-style screening and bag searches. A strict prohibited items list will be enforced. Instructions of security personnel must be adhered to at all times.

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

Traffic arrangements

Traffic management is the responsibility of and managed by the French Authorities which are TBA.

Tour coaches and tour operators

If you are a tour operator and have not made contact with the Department, please send your contact details to overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au so that we can ensure you are provided updated information.

Seating

There is a 300m walk uphill on arrival at the ANM, approximately two AFL field lengths, to access the seating area. Seating at the commemoration 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. Some sections have restricted and/or indirect views of the Commemoration.

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

Accessible seating

Limited assistance will be available for visitors at the commemoration who have registered a health or accessibility requirement. Those requesting accessible seating are able to have one carer or companion with them to provide assistance. Unfortunately due to limited accessible seating, it is not possible to extend this service to others travelling with their groups. Visitors with an accessibility requirement will need to alert staff on arrival to the service.

To register your accessible seating request, please register online or email: overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au or register at the information tent on the day of the service.

Accessible seating inclusions

  • Shuttle transfer to and from the front of the ANM to the accessible seating area.
  • Access to a limited number of dedicated accessible toilets.

Accessible seating exclusions

  • Personalised or dedicated one-to-one assistance.
  • The provision of carers, wheelchair pushers, or physical assistance with seating or embarking and disembarking from 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.

You should consult with your doctor regarding the conditions you are likely to experience on site to ensure you can safely travel to Villers-Bretonneux.

Laying a wreath

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

Members of the public who wish to lay a wreath will have the opportunity to do so at the conclusion of the service. Contrary to previous services during the centenary period, it is no longer a requirement to pre-register. Individuals are to supply their own wreaths 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.

Visit the Sir John Monash Centre

The brand new Sir John Monash Centre (SJMC) in Villers-Bretonneux is a must-see for Australian visitors. Opened on 24 April 2018, the Centre offers an outstanding Western Front experience for visitors. The Sir John Monash Centre tells Australia’s story of the Western Front in the words of those who served. Set on the grounds of the Australian National Memorial this cutting-edge multimedia centre reveals the Australian Western Front experience through a series of interactive media installations and immersive experiences.

You can download the SJMC app prior to your visit.

In order to visit the centre on this day, people will need to make a booking. Bookings will also need to be made in the days leading up to 25 April and for 26 April and the following two days due to the expected high numbers. To make a booking, go to: https://sjmc.gov.au/book-your-visit/

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 the CWGC website to download the app

On the afternoon of the 25 April

Australian Service at Digger Memorial
Time: TBC
Transport: Self, no transport arrangements provided.
Park in the town of Bullecourt.
Venue: Memorial on the village outskirts of Bullecourt.

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 The 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 November 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 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website 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 may be available on the day.

Contact information

In Australia

Department of Veterans' Affairs

For Consular Assistance in France

Have you registered on Smartraveller? Visit Smartraveller for the latest travel advice

Emergency helpline

Consular emergency centre 24-hour phone service:

  • Within Australia, phone: 1300 555 135 (local call cost)
  • Outside Australia, phone: +61 2 6261 3305 or
  • SMS, text: +61 421 269 080.
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