On Wednesday 24 April 24, a commemoration ceremony of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux took place at the Shrine of Remembrance. During World War One, Villers-Bretonneux was the scene of two significant Australian victories in Spring 1918 on the Western Front: halting a German offensive against the town on March 21st and the town’s final liberation on April 25th.
Attendees came to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the Australian Diggers in these decisive actions nearing the end of the Great War. There was a presentation of regimental colours by the Anciens Combattants Français de Victoria.
The commemoration was also attended by students of Strathewen Primary School. The bonds between our two nations were reinforced following the 2009 Victorian bushfires, as the city of Villers Bretonneux raised funds to help rebuild a playground for the school, a nice counterpoint of the Victorian School children collecting pennies after World War One to rebuild the school of Villers-Bretonneux, now called ECOLE VICTORIA. As says the banner proudly displayed in the school yard, “Let us never forget Australia” , N’oublions jamais l’Australie”.