The Somme, Fields of Remembrance

  • Pozières

    © ©MathieuFarcy

    Pozières

    © ©MathieuFarcy

  • ANZAC - Villers-Bretonneux - Mémorial National Australia

    © ©Garry

    ANZAC - Villers-Bretonneux - Mémorial National Australia

    © ©Garry

  • VillersBretonneux

    © ©FabienMilhaud

    VillersBretonneux

    © ©FabienMilhaud

  • LeHamel

    © ©SamuelCrampon

    LeHamel

    © ©SamuelCrampon

The Somme, Fields of Remembrance amiens fr

The Somme Battlefields will forever hold an important place in Australian and New-Zealand memory. A century ago, these now beautiful towns, villages and fields tucked away into the quiet rural countryside of Northern France, witnessed the triumphs, tragedy and unimaginable loss of the ANZAC forces.

Their sacrifice will never be forgotten by the inhabitants of this region, and, Australian and New-Zealand (ANZAC) Remembrance Trails will be completed in the Somme in 2017. Building
upon local efforts and developments, the Governments are linking its important sites of remembrance across the Western Front and providing greater information at such sites:

 

POZIERES

No other battlefield is so synonymous with ANZAC sacrifice. During the 1916 summer, the Australians lost 23,000 men in this small village and its surroundings.
Already home to monuments commemorating Australians (The Windmill, Gibraltar and the 1st Australian Division Memorial), the village has been included in the new Australian Remembrance Trail, and a walking trail and smart phone app (1916 Pozières) have been developed.

 

VILLERS-BRETONNEUX

Villers-Bretonneux entered history over 24-26 April 1918 when ANZAC troops stop the German advance here. Australia formed a special bond with Villers-Bretonneux, financing the construction of the Victoria School in 1927 (it now hosts the Franco-Australian Museum renovated in 2016 – www.museeaustralien.com), and erecting a national memorial to Australian remembrance in 1938. Every
year, on ANZAC Day, a Dawn Service is held at the National Memorial in the presence of thousands of visitors from France and abroad who unite in
remembrance of the Australian and New-Zealand sacrifice that was made in the
Somme.

The centre Sir John Monash, is due to open in April 2018. The interpretation centre, located adjacent to the National Memorial, will form the central point of the Australian Remembrance Trail helping inform visitors about ANZAC history; providing an emotional and educational experience for visitors.

 

LE HAMEL

Sir General Monash’s brilliant victory of 4 July 1918 are remembered here. The fully restored site’s panoramic displays and interpretation panels explain the strategic significance of the area during the battle.

 

VIGNACOURT

During the Great War, the village of Vignacourt, was used as a resting place for soldiers. A local couple, Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, began to photograph the passing soldiers. In 2011, Reporters of the television station Channel Seven discovered 4000 photographic plates in the attic of the Thuillier farm. Aware of its exceptional historical value, the French and Australian authorities wanted to highlight the actual location of the photographs in Vignacourt, using this architecture as a decor to display the photographs. The interpretation center is due to open in 2017. A true testimony to life behind the Western front!

 

PERONNE

Since 2015, interpretive markers at Mont-Saint-Quentin, around the 2nd Australian Division Memorial, tell the story of the battle. The relief map at the Historial, Museum of the Great War, completes this history walking trail as well as the new exhibition halls, themed on the role of the Australians during WWI and the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin. www.historial.org

 

Things to see

Point of interest