On 24 April 2018, one hundred years after the battle of Villers-Bretonneux – when 4000 Australian soldiers launched a surprise night counter-attack to stop the German offensive – Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Honorary Consul General of France in Victoria and Kate Torney, CEO of State Library Victoria invited one hundred guests to commemorate the event, underlying at the same time the strong friendship between the two countries and the eternal gratitude from the people of Villers Bretonneux.
Dr. Diane de Saint-Leger, of the University of Melbourne led the conversation between Dr Ross McMullin, Historian, and David Robertson, Australian Veteran from Afghanistan. They discussed the similitudes and differences on the conditions of fighting both for a modern soldier and a ANZAC one hundred years ago. A great way to put in perspective our past and present, while facing theory and practice.
The event concluded with canapes and drinks and was immediately followed by a fascinating conference by Ross McMullin on what really happened during that counter attack elaborated by Australian General Pompey Elliott.
A very emotional day to remember together the sacrifice of soldiers one hundred years ago, and perpetuate the strong link that has been established : the friendship between France and Australia.