"Villers-Bretonneux - ANZAC DAWN SERVICE" Villers-Bretonneux by pedroswift
Villers-Bretonneux Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 25 photos
Wishing to plan a road trip to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux ? or to visit at any time ??
Read the following then scroll down to the "Travelogue" below.
On the travelogue below - Check the Stop Press (re accom) in red if you wish to attend the service in 2013.
by the way: click "+" on vt photos to enlarge them. click on blue text to open linked pages
The ANZAC tradition was forged during World War One 1914-18. Any Australian seeking enlightenment on that tradition by visiting the WW1 European battle sites is advised to start the journey at Villers-Bretonneux which is twinned with the town of Robinvale on the Murray river. Robinvale was created after WWI and named after Robin Cuttle, the son of a local 'pioneer', who was killed at Villers-Bretonneux.
The building of the Victoria School, in central Villers-B. was funded by donations from school children in the State of Victoria. It is a Memorial to Victorian soldiers who lost their lives during WW1 and is the perfect starting point of a self-guided tour of Australian Battle sites.
The school houses the Musee Franco-Australien.
The closest large town to Villers-Bretonneux is Amiens. I suggest you use Amiens as a base for visits to the Somme. ANZAC Day itself probably not the time to visit. However, a couple of days prior, a visit to the Tourist Office in Amiens will provide a wealth of maps and brochures designed specifically for Battlefield visitors.
The best method of doing your own tour is via hire car as public transport is non-existent and taxi transport too expensive for all bar short trips. Train to Lille direct from CDG or Paris Nord Station to Amiens to pick up hire/leased car is an option if car pick-up at CDG Airport is considered too daunting.
AMiens Tourist Office URL: http://www.amiens-tourisme.com/
Anzac Day Service
If you are attending the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day, you should be prepared well in advance by consulting the Australian Governments Department of Veteran's Affairs web site.
It is critical that you appreciate the limitations on vehicle movements on Anzac Day and download the PDF of the arrangements for parking and pedestrian access to the Australian Memorial which is put on the DVA web site a couple of months prior to ANZAC Day. See advice on clothes to wear as well.
North Mackay High School History Project
During your preparation to visit France/Belgium, check out the North Mackay High School's History Project.
If you are an Aussie it will make you proud to be so! Scroll down the page to "Nicole's Story" ( in Tour Number 4) and "Megan's Journey" (in Tour number 5).... . Be prepared to shed a tear when you read them.
You should also be aware of the fact that students of North Mackay High not only support the ANZAC Day service in Mackay each year but also send a big percentage of their students in the school's marching band to support veterans taking part in the Anzac Day Parade in Brisbane - making a trip of 1600 kilometres to do so. That is Dedication (with a capital"D").
Read about another Australian - Villers-Bretonneux re-connection
If you are looking for a specific relative buried on the Western Front do a search.
There are generic Australian memorials to seek out on your pilgrimage as well as Australian Divisional Memorials.
Don't neglect to visit Adelaide Cemetery while in Villers. Read about it in tips below.URL : http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/ae2c2/14357/4/#1538993
Do some homework on the web before you go, to work out what you wish to see. Don't neglect other Commonwealth Memorials eg Canadian (Vimy Ridge).
As well as the numerous sites on the www, from which a wealth of information can be downloaded, ask at your public library for "A guide to the Australian Battlefields of the Western Front" by Dr John Laffin (Kangaroo Press) or the more modern Mat Mc Lachlan book listed below.
If you are serious about seeing the Western Front, purchase the latest Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Michelin Road Atlas: "Cemeteries and Memorials in Belgium and Northern France". This is a compact road atlas covering the areas with the densest population of war cemeteries in northern France and Belgium, including Normandy. The atlas, with road maps in Michelin's 1:200,000 series is overprinted to show the location of each Commonwealth cemetery and memorial & comes with an alphabetical index.
You may wish to consult or, even better, purchase and take with you on your battlefield pilgrimage "Walking with the Anzacs - A Guide to Australian Battlefields on the Western Front" by Mat Mc Lachlan (hachette australia, 2007 - revised '08&'09 - ISBN 978 0 7334 0907 2). McLachlan is a professional Battlefield Guide and has made his experience available to the do-it-yourself battlefield tourist. He explains the main battles and gives detailed instructions for Australians to visit the key locations. Also provides up-to-date tips on accommodation.
for more info: Scroll down to Travelogue below - "Anzac Dawn Service Planning".
- Pros:ANZAC Spirit - the French connection
- Cons:nothing to report except 2013 change to traffic rules
- In a nutshell:Start of a heart-wrenching battlesite tour
An iconic symbol of the ANZAC Legend is the hard tack biscuit or "tile" which was baked in Australia and issued to... more travel advice
Photograph a Memorial Inscription or Headstone on behalf of a friend or for your own family. Having successfully... more travel advice
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