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Memories of Villers-Bretonneux 1rst Remembrance ANZAC.

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Presentation on theme: "Memories of Villers-Bretonneux 1rst Remembrance ANZAC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Memories of Villers-Bretonneux 1rst Remembrance ANZAC

2 At the Beginning Villers-Bretonneux History has had a link with Australia for the 1rst World War. On April 1918, Australian and New-Zealander voluntary soldiers had to stop the German attack from Amiens. In the night from 24 th to 25 th April, the 13 th and 15 th brigades took the control but with a lot of dead soldiers. This victory made a real end of the conflict. A limit was created by Paul Moeau-Vaulthier at the Villers- Bretonneux entry where the last german soldier was killed. This place was designed by the General PETAIN. So the 25 th April became the Australian Day Remembrance

3 The National Memorial In memory of the fellow countrymen who died for Freedom, the Australian Government decided the construction of a National Memorial in Villers where the names of 11 000 soldiers are written.

4 The Inauguration The National Australian Memorial was inaugurated on 22 nd July 1938 by president Albert Lebrun, King George VI with Queen Elisabeth.

5 What’s happened on 22 nd July 1938 ? The Royal train arrived at 1:30 pm in the Villers railway station where the most important french officials were waiting.

6 The car which had to drive the King and the Queen from the station to the Memorial was in the Bled Garage and was protected against the population. When the Royal Couple arrived at the garage, they were driven up to the Memorial with one soldier every meter.

7 A crowd of several thousand people was in the Memorial’s court when the King and the Queen arrived.

8 General Sinclair presented the Honour Guard to the King whereas a young Bretonvillois, Yves Lefebvre, gave a bouquet of roses to the Queen.

9 The Royal stand was in front of the Memorial tower. The King spoke about the bravery and the sacrifice of 46 000 Australians dead for our Liberty during that bloody conflict.

10 The King and the Queen placed a spray of flowers on the Monument.

11 Why this Ceremony ? Links were established at the end of the conflict by the « adoption » of Villers-Bretonneux by the Melbourne town in 1920 and by the participation of the Victoria state to the reconstruction of the school (every student of the state gave 1 $ for this project) the first stone of which was placed on 16 th June 1923 by Mr Mac Whae and Mr Franck Tate who represented the Victoria state.

12 There was a big ceremony for the inauguration of the school on May 1927. On the picture, children are singing « la Marseillaise » and « God save the King » The School Victoria

13 A Republican Meal with 120 people put an end to the inauguration. It took place in the School reception room. The Australian delegation of the Victoria state are in front of the commemorative plaque.

14 Anzac since 1938 The Relationship between Villers-Bretonneux and Australia has continued generation after generation and after the 2 nd World War, a welcoming committee was created in 1955 by MarcelGrené (president of the Old Soldiers), Pierre Huguet (school director) and Léon Rinet (industrial) to receive australian visitors who want to discover places of conflict and to see the tombs. In 1975, Léon Rinet and Marcel Pillon created a museum into the Victoria school to present all the memories of the conflict. It was inaugurated on 25 th April 1975 by Mr Anderson (Australia Ambassador) and the name of the museum is « Sir William Legatt ». In 1980, Allan Wood (a state minister) proposed to twin Villers-Bretonneux with Robinvale, (the name of an aviator killed near Villers) This is Robin Cuttle

15 This soldier who died at 23 years old was an image for all these young Australians who came in Picardy to fight bravely. On this picture we can see the twinning ceremony on 5th May 1984 at Villers with a charter signature of the authorities of the two towns.

16 On this picture: Allan Wood (State minister), Roland Blondelle (president of twinning Committee), Hubert Lelieur (VIllers- Bretonneux Mayor), Mc Ginty (Robinval Mayor), Marcel Pillon (president of the franco-australian association), Coll Bennet (president of Australian twinning committee).

17 The return ceremony took place in Australia on 6th September 1985 with the inauguration at Robinvale of the Villers-Bretonneux walk

18 Every year, on Saturday the closest to the 25th April, VIllers- Bretonneux celebrate the Anzac Day with the Australian Ambassador, with ministers of the two countries and with the inhabitants who show they are grateful respecting the inscription which is on the Victoria School “Never Forget Australia”

19 Every 4 years, alternately, the Bretonvillois go to Australia and Robinvale citizens are accomodated in French families. Above, the picarde delegation at Robinvale in 2003

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