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Villers-Bretonneux

Anzac Day Service

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Sanpshot
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)
Visa requirements: Australian Passport – No, check your visa requirements
Security: Airport-style screening
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 22-26 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 104th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.

Planning and preparing to attend

Visitors are encouraged to plan their journey and arrival times carefully to ensure that they have sufficient time to progress through security and obtain the best seats. A pre-service commemorative program will be provided in the lead up to the commencement of the official commemorative service.

The ANM has no permanent seating infrastructure or shelter. As the Commemoration will be at an outdoor venue, it is important that visitors are prepared for the very cold conditions experienced in April and the possibility of wet weather. Visitors should expect to walk 300-metres, uphill (approximately two AFL field lengths), after arriving at the ANM. Accessible seating and support is provided to those with a need (see accessible seating services).

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

Traffic arrangements

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

The 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, 20 km east of Amiens and is roughly half-way between the town of Villers-Bretonneux and the towns of Corbie and Fouilloy.

Walk — for residents and those staying in Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie or Fouilloy

For those residents of, or visitors staying in, the towns of Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie or Fouilloy they are able to walk to the ANM. These visitors will be directed along pedestrian/bike path which will be illuminated for safety. The walk from Villers-Bretonneux is approximately 45 minutes (3.7km) and the walk from Corbie and Foilloy will take approximately 30 minutes (2km). At the end of the pathways visitors will enter the ANM, move through airport-style security screening.

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.

Accessible seating

Limited assistance will be available for visitors at the commemoration who have registered a health or accessibility requirement. Evidence from your General Practitioner may be requested to support your registration.

Those requesting accessible seating are able to have one carer with them to provide assistance. Consideration may be given to accompanying guests. Unfortunately due to limited accessible seating, it is not possible to extend this service to others travelling with their groups, please send your contact details to overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au so that we can ensure you are provided further details.

Accessible seating inclusions

  • Transport 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 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.

Service-specific visitor information

Information tent

An information tent will operate from 23 April until 25 April. Staff will be on hand to provide information about Anzac Day services as well as the cemeteries and museums in the towns along the Australian Remembrance Trail. The tent will operate before and during the commemoration on 25 April. See also 'lost property'.

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 16:00 AEST (08:00 GMT+2) 24 April 2019.

  • 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.

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.

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