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Villers-Bretonneux

Anzac Day Dawn Service

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux, France. Overlaid with a street scene with farmers and soldiers

Snapshot
Service: Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux
Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, 24 and 25 April 2018 (Anzac Day)
Time: visit to see more detail about events and transport options

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

11:15 pm: Amiens train station shuttles commence
11:30 pm: Glisy Park and Ride Opens

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

12:00 am: Australian National Memorial Opens
12:00 am: Pre-service presentations and information commence
  2:00 am: Official program commences
  3:00 am: Last Scheduled Amiens train station shuttle
  4:30 am: All guests asked to be seated
  5:30 am: Official commemoration commences

Seating style: All seated: Grand stand and chairs on flat grass
Venue: The Australian National Memorial, (outside the village of) Villers-Bretonneux
Weather: Extremely cold (close to freezing)
Attendance passes: Required — Available
Visa requirements: Australian passport holders — 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 2018.

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration for the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux does not give you access to the Sir John Monash Centre. To visit the Centre you will need to make a separate booking.

Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre is free.

Information for Attendees

Links to further information

E-News

Rolling rail strikes are being organised through until June 2018

During the strike period it is not possible to know for certain how many trains will be running each day. During the last strike day, approximately 4 trains ran between Paris and Amiens.

It is highly recommended that if you are planning to take a train on 23 or 24 April, that you plan to take the train early in the day. This will allow you to take a later train if the earlier ones are not running. If you plan to take a train late in the day there is a risk that it may be cancelled and you will not have the possibility of a later train. 

It is recommended to get to the train stations early and keep an eye on the SNCF website.

Introduction

On 25 April 2018 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 exactly 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 2018, not only commemorates this remarkable action which effectively ended the German offensive launched a month prior but also marks the 103rd anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.

Planning and preparing to attend

Due to the large numbers of attendees this year, site open times have been extended. 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.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to arrive early to ensure they have sufficient time to progress through security.

For the comfort of visitors' complimentary tea, coffee and croissants will be provided at the memorial site from 12:00 am. A pre-service program of informative announcements, music from the Australian Defence Force Band and voices of Birralee Choir will also be provided in the lead up to the commencement of the official program at 2:00 am.

The ANM has no permanent seating infrastructure or shelter. As the Commemoration will be at dawn 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). While seating will be provided for all attendance pass holders, seating is 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.  A strict prohibited items list will be enforced. Visitors should follow the instructions of security personnel at all times.

Transport arrangements

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.

There is no parking close to the commemorative site. All attendees travelling by private vehicle, taxi or tour operator coach must travel through the 'Park and Ride' facility. Visitors can park their vehicles or be dropped off at this facility where they will be transported to the ANM by event shuttles. Alternatively, visitors can utilise the Amiens train station shuttle service to get to the 'Park and Ride' facility.

Amiens Train Station Shuttle

  • Site Open: 11:00 pm
  • First Shuttle: 11:15 pm
  • Last Shuttle: 3:00 am

A free shuttle service will be provided between the Amiens Train Station and the Glisy 'Park and Ride' facility. Visitors can board this service from the Amiens train station, along Rue Jules Barni. Public car parking is available around the station for those travelling from other cities they will need to check the train schedules.

The journey time to the Glisy 'Park and Ride' is approximately 30 minutes. Visitors will then be security screened in the Glisy Park and Ride Shuttle process outlined below, which can take up to 1 hour, before boarding an event shuttle to the ANM.

Glisy 'Park and Ride' Shuttle

  • Site Open: 11:30 pm
  • First Shuttle: 11:45 pm

A 'Park and Ride' system will be established in the car park at the Géant supermarket, in Glisy. Visitors can access the 'Park and Ride' site, via private vehicle, taxi, tour operator coach or bicycle. To access the 'Park and Ride', approach from the D934 and Rue Michael Strogoff.

On arrival at the 'Park and Ride' facility, visitors will be guided to a general information tent and Ticketek box office, where any last minute ticket collections can be made. Visitors will then go through an attendance pass scanning and security screening point. Following this, visitors will be issued a wristband which provides a visual verification to service officials that they have been cleared through the security screening point.

Due to the large number of visitors, it is important visitors plan their arrival and leave sufficient time to progress through security and board a coach to the memorial site. This process can take up to 1 hour alone.

Event shuttles will deliver visitors to the ANM promenade where they will walk approximately 300-metres, uphill (approximately two AFL field lengths), through the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery to the seating area. The surface is grass and may be slippery when damp. Safety lighting will be installed at the entrance and through the cemetery, but visitors may wish to bring a torch to assist with visibility.

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 attendance pass scanning and airport-style security screening.

Changes to the availability of parking in the towns of Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie and Foilloy will be in place for 2018, with previous options for general parking no longer available. Road closures around the town of Villers-Bretonneux will be far greater than previous years due to the anticipated increased attendance at the town service.

Road closures

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

Local Authorities advise that the road between Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie and Fouilloy will be closed between approximately 2.00 pm on 24 April and 2.00 pm on 25 April 2018.

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

Assistance will be available for visitors at the commemoration who have registered a health or accessibility requirement, at the time of registration. 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. If you require this service, please ensure you answer 'Yes' to the accessibility requirements question within your registration for an attendance pass. Closer to the commemoration, we will be in contact with further details.

Accessible seating inclusions

  • Use of wheelchair accessible shuttles along all event shuttle transport routes. (e.g Amiens/Glisy Park and Ride, Glisy 'Park and Ride' to ANM)
  • 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 at the ANM to the event shuttle pick up point for transportation to the 'Park and Ride' facility.

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.

Other services on 25 April 2018

Note: attendance passes are not required for the below services.

Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day Town Service (French Service)

Time: 8.30 am
Transport: A shuttle service will be made available to the town of Villers-Bretonneux at the conclusion of the Commemoration. Shuttles will then be provided back to the Glisy Park and Ride, and Amiens train station, at the conclusion of the town service.
Venue: Monument aux Morts, Town Centre, Villers-Bretonneux

Bullecourt Town Service (French Anzac Day Service)

Time: 2.30 pm
At the conclusion of this service, attendees march approximately 800 metres on a paved road, to the Australian Digger Memorial to conduct the Australian service.
Transport: Self — no transport arrangements provided. Park in the town of Bullecourt.
Venue: The Commonwealth and French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre — Square du Souvenir Francais

Australian Service at Digger Memorial

Time: 3.30 pm
At the conclusion of the Bullecourt town service, attendees march approximately 800 metres on a paved road, to Digger Memorial for this service.
Transport: Self — no transport arrangements provided. Park in the town of Bullecourt.
Venue: Digger Memorial on the village outskirts of Bullecourt

Service-specific visitor items

Information tent

An information tent will operate from 21 April until 25 April. Staff will be on hand to provide information about Centenary and 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'.

Ticketek box offices

Attendance passes will be sent out via express post from the 26 March 2018 to the address that you provided in your registration form.

If you do not receive them prior to your departure you will be able to collect them at the Glisy Park and Ride facility from the Ticketek box office on the morning of the service.

In the lead up to the Commemoration, attendance pass services provider Ticketek will establish box office facilities at the following locations and times. Visitors can attend box offices to collect their attendance pass or replace damaged or lost passes.

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux France

  • Saturday 21 April, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • Sunday 22 April, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • Monday 23 April, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 24 April, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm

Hotel Ibis Styles Amiens Cathedrale 17-19 Place au Feurre, 80000 Amiens, France

  • Saturday 21 April, 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Sunday 22 April, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Monday 23 April, 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm

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 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/tribut 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.

Sir John Monash Centre

Bookings are now open for the Sir John Monash Centre, due to open in France in April 2018.

The Sir John Monash Centre tells Australia's story of First World War experiences on the Western Front in the words of those who served. Set on the grounds of the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux, the Centre is one of the key sites of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front.

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration for the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux commemoration does not give you access to the Sir John Monash Centre. To visit the Centre you will need to make a separate booking by visiting www.sjmc.gov.au

With the expected high level of interest in the Centre around the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, group bookings (for more than 12 visitors) are essential, while general bookings (for individuals and small groups up to 12 people) are strongly encouraged. Priority entry will be given to those with a booking.

Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre is free.

 

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