Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Australian National Memorial, Villers–Bretonneux, France

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This Friday, 25 April, is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, a national day of remembrance for their nationals killed in WW1 and subsequent wars. The Australian National Memorial in Villers–Bretonneux Military Cemetery, near Fouilloy, France, is the focus of Australian commemorations on the Western Front.

Two entrance pavilions flank the standard Stone of Remembrance in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. Rows of graves (2100 in all) face a central alley leading uphill past a Cross of Sacrifice to the Australian National Memorial. The central tower of the memorial is flanked by wings on which are engraved the names of almost 11,000 Australians who died in France in WW1 and who have no known grave.

The cemetery and the memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The memorial was dedicated by King George VI on 22 July 1938. It was severely damaged during WW2 and restored in 1951 with some of the scars retained.

My photos date from a visit in 2017, before the Sir John Monash interpretive centre opened in 2018. You can see some signs of construction behind the memorial wings.

Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at greatwar100reads.wordpress.com.

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