Australian Embassy
France
Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, Monaco

Anzac Day 2018

Anzac Day in France

History

Australian War Memorial Website

Services in France

Department of Veterans Affairs Website

The official Anzac Day Commemorations on the Western Front are conducted by the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans' Affairs  and local communities. All the commemorative services are open to the public.

Information has been prepared to assist visitors planning to attend the Anzac Day services at Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt.

Please be advised that attendance passes will be required for  overseas commemorations conducted by DVA within the safe, secure and comfortable carrying capacity of the commemorative sites.

For information about how to obtain an attendance pass to Anzac Day commemorative services, visit:

www.dva.gov.au/overseascommemorations

https://overseascommemorations.ticketek.com.au/

ANZAC DAY 2018

Snapshot
Service: Dawn Service, Australian National Memorial
Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time:
  • 1.00 am: Park and Ride facility opens (time TBC)
  • 1.30 am: Site opens (time TBC)
  • 2.00 am: Pre-service program commences (time TBC)
  • 4.30 am: All visitors to be seated
  • 5.00am: Spirit of Place commences
  • 5.30 am: Dawn service commences
Seating style: All seated: Grand stands and chairs on flat grass
Venue: The Australian National Memorial, (outside the village of) Villers-Bretonneux
Weather: Extremely cold (close to freezing)
Attendance passes: Required – Available
Visa requirements: Australian passport holders – No / Check your visa requirements
Security: Airport-style screening
Important Notes:

Due to the installation of technical equipment for the conduct of the Dawn Service, for safety reasons the central tower of the Australian National Memorial will not be open to the public from 22 – 26 April 2018.

Bookings are now open for the Sir John Monash Centre, which is due to open in France April 2018. The Sir John Monash Centre tells Australia’s story of First World War experiences on the Western Front in the words of those who served. Set on the grounds of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial, the Sir John Monash Centre is one of the key sites of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front.

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration for the Anzac Day Dawn Service does not give you access to the Sir John Monash Centre. To visit the Centre you will need to make a separate booking by visiting www.sjmc.gov.au

Due to the expected high level of interest in the Centre around Anzac Day, opening hours have been extended and are provided on the Sir John Monash Centre booking page. Group bookings (for more than 12 visitors) are essential, while general bookings (for individuals and small groups up to 12 people) are strongly encouraged, especially during this busy time. Priority entry will be given to those with a booking.

Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre is free.

Links

Introduction

On the 25th of April 2018 we will gather at the Australian National Memorial situated just north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France. It is the site of an intense battle fought exactly 100 years before as part of wider efforts to halt a German spring offensive which was threatening to win them the war.

Throughout early April in 1918 Australian units helped defend Villers-Bretonneux from this onslaught, but at dawn on the 24th the Germans attacked and captured the town. Leading the British counter attack, the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades enveloped the town and successfully cleared it of Germans on the 25th of April, the third anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.

The service to be held on the 25th of April 2018 at the Australian National Memorial not only marks this remarkable action which effectively ended the German offensive launched a month prior but also Anzac Day.

Getting to the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux.

The Australian National Memorial is located approximately 20 km east of Amiens and is roughly half-way between the town of Villers-Bretonneux and the towns of Corbie and Fouilloy. Amiens is situated approximately 150 km north of Paris.

A Park and Ride facility will operate from the Géant supermarket carpark, Glisy, and is open for use by all tour operators and self-drive visitors.

This facility will be open from approx 1.00 am (TBC) on 25 April 2018 for visitors to progress through security screening and board an event shuttle to the commemoration.

This facility will be open from approximately 1.00 am (subject to confirmation) on 25 April 2018 for visitors to progress through security screening and board an event shuttle to the commemoration. Event shuttles will deliver you to the Australian National Memorial promenade where you will walk approximately 300 metres on grass, slightly uphill through the centre of the cemetery to the seating area. The surface is grass and may be slippery if damp. Safety lighting will be installed at the entrance and through the cemetery, but visitors may wish to bring a torch to assist with visibility.

Visitors approaching the Memorial site from Corbie and Fouilloy on foot will be directed to the pedestrian/bike path which runs parallel to the road. Those approaching from Villers-Bretonneux will walk along the designated pedestrian/bike path to the Memorial site. At the end of the pathways you will enter the Memorial and move through airport-style security screening onto the promenade area.

 

Transport Arrangements

Road Closures

Traffic management is the responsibility of, and is managed by, French Authorities.

Local Authorities advise that the road between Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie and Fouilloy will be closed.

Private Vehicles

Private vehicles are welcome to utilise the Park and Ride facility at the Géant supermarket carpark, Glisy. This facility will be open from approximately 1.00 am  (TBC) on 25 April 2018 for visitors to progress through security screening and board an event shuttle to the commemoration. Should you have an accessibility requirement, we also encourage you to utilise this facility.

This facility will be open from approx. 1.00 am  (TBC) on 25 April 2018 for visitors to progress through security screening and board an event shuttle to the commemoration. Should you have an accessibility requirement, we also encourage you to utilise this facility.

There is also limited parking in Corbie, Fouilloy and Villers-Bretonneux.

The walk to the Memorial from Corbie & Fouilloy, and from Villers Bretonneux is approximately 2 km and 3.7 km respectively and takes between 30 – 60 minutes depending on the direction from which you come. Care should be taken as the road is poorly lit in some areas, the surface is uneven and buses and coaches use this road.

Coaches

Arrivals/Departures

A Park and Ride facility will operate for all coaches at the Géant supermarket carpark, Glisy.

This facility will be open from approx.1.00 am (TBC) on 25 April 2018 for visitors to progress through security screening and board an event shuttle to the commemoration.

Visitors will have the option to be returned immediately to the Park and Ride facility following the service.

If you are a tour operator and have not made contact with the department, please send your contact details to overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au.

Shuttles

Amiens – Glisy

A complimentary return bus transfer will be available between Amiens and the Park and Ride facility at Glisy (approximately 15 minute drive).

Departure
  • Location: Boulevard d'Alsace Lorraine in front of the Amiens Train Station (Gare d'Amiens)
  • Time: (TBC) We will contact all registered visitors by email with more details closer to the commemoration date.
Return
  • Location: Park and Ride facility at the Géant supermarket carpark, Glisy
  • Time: approx. 9.00 am, however this may vary depending on return times from the Memorial and Villers-Bretonneux.

 

Service Specific Visitor items

Information Tent

An Information Tent will operate from 21 April until 25 April. Staff will be on hand to provide information about Anzac Day services as well as the cemeteries and museums in the towns along the Australian Remembrance Trail. The tent will operate before and during the Dawn Service on 25 April.

Accessible Seating

Assistance will be available for visitors at the Dawn Service who have registered a health or accessibility requirement, at the time of registration. Evidence from your General Practitioner may be requested to support your registration.

Those requesting accessible seating are able to have one carer with them to provide assistance. Consideration may be given to accompanying guests. Unfortunately due to limited accessible seating, it is not possible to extend this service to others travelling with their groups. If you require this service, please ensure you answer ‘Yes’ to the accessibility requirements question within your registration for an attendance pass. Closer to the commemoration, we will be in contact with further details.

Visitors should be able to walk 300 metres unaided uphill through the cemetery to the Memorial site (this is the approximate distance from the entrance to the accessible seating area) and a further 200 metres from the coach drop-off point to the entrance. Those visitors registered for accessible seating will be able to access an accessibility vehicle from the coach drop-off point and be dropped at the front of the memorial close to the accessible seating area.

Laying a Wreath

Wreath laying by invited official representatives will occur during the services. Members of the public who wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute will have the opportunity to do so at the conclusion of the service. If you wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute, you will need to bring this with you and register your details at the information tent.

The proceedings will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies who will call individuals in order to lay their wreath or tribute. Extreme care is recommended to all visitors as there may be trip hazards or other obstacles (chairs, podium, wreath stands) in this area. Please do not climb on podiums or other infrastructure to take photographs.

Important: You will need to organise your own wreath or floral tribute. It is your responsibility to carry it with you, care for it and transport it to the Memorial. There are no facilities or arrangements for storage or transport of personal wreaths at the Memorial.

Please note: Applications for pre-registration for public wreath laying is now available. If you wish to pre-register please e-mail making sure to include the following information

  • Your attendance pass registration Application ID Number
  • The name and title of the person/s laying the wreath
  • The organisation/group or person/relative being represented

Important: Pre-registrants will still need to present to the Wreath Registration Tent on the morning of 25 April to receive an information sheet with instructions on laying the wreath.

Further reading

Visitors wishing to locate a particular grave or name on a memorial to the missing should consult theCommonwealth War Graves Commission website to identify the exact location of the grave or name on a memorial to the missing prior to travelling to France or Belgium. Limited assistance may be available on the day.

 

Villers-Bretonneux Town Square Wreath Laying Ceremony – Wednesday 25 April 2018 (French service)

After the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial site, visitors are invited to make their way to the French Monument, Town Centre for the Villers-Bretonneux Town Square Wreath Laying Ceremony which is expected to commence at around 8:45 am. (TBC)

Visitors are reminded it can get quite hot during the day. A small day pack may be useful to carry with extra clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water to avoid dehydration. There is no shelter or seating available at this service.

 
Villers-Bretonneux Service (French Service)

Service: Anzac Day Service and wreath-laying Ceremony

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time: Expected to commence at 8.30 am
Venue: Monument aux Morts, Town Centre, Villers-Bretonneux
Attendance Passes: Not required

Villers-Bretonneux Service (French Service)

Service: Sadlier Stokes Scholarship Presentation & Concert

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time: Expected to commence at 9.15 am
Venue: Our Lady of Hope Church, Villers-Bretonneux (TBC)
Attendance Passes: Not required

 

Bullecourt Services – Wednesday 25 April 2018

After the ceremony in Villers-Bretonneux, the Anzac Day program continues with a French service in Bullecourt and an Australian service at the Digger Memorial, outside the town of Bullecourt.

The Anzac Day Wreath Laying Service at French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre is expected to commence at around 2:00 pm. (French service) 

Bullecourt is approximately 45-60 minutes by car from Villers-Bretonneux, and 15 minutes from Bapaume. Due to the large crowds expected, the road through the village of Bullecourt will be closed for local Anzac Day commemorations. Visitors may need to park outside the village and walk into the town for the French service in the town centre, and to the service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial on the village outskirts. Local police and ceremony staff will be present should attendees require assistance.  It should be noted that there is no shelter or seating available at this service.

March to DiggerThe Australian Service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial on the Bullecourt village outskirts is expected to commence at around 3.00pm.

Please note that there will be no vehicle access to the ‘Digger’ Memorial. The walk from Bullecourt to the ‘Digger’ Memorial is approximately 800 metres. There is no shelter and limited seating available at this service.  

Visitors are again reminded it can get quite hot during the day. A small day pack may be useful to carry extra clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water to avoid dehydration.

No public transport is available to Bullecourt – visitors should make their own arrangements.

Bullecourt Town Service (French Service)

Service: Anzac Day Service

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time: Expected to commence at 2.30 pm
Venue: The Commonwealth and French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre – Square du Souvenir Francais
Attendance Passes: Not required

Australian Service at Digger Memorial

Service: Anzac Day Service

Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Time: 3.00 pm (TBC)
Venue: Digger Memorial on the village outskirts of Bullecourt
Attendance Passes: Not required

 

Register Your Attendance

Visitors are encouraged to register on the Smartraveller (DFAT) website.

It is important to note that just prior to Anzac Day, DVA plans to share the name and mobile phone contact details of those who have registered on DVA with the DFAT consular team. This information will only be used by DFAT in case of an emergency.

Accomodation

DVA is unable to assist with accommodation bookings or advice, however, you may wish to visit the Somme Tourisme website for more information.

Travel and Security arrangements

For the latest travel advice on France please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller website for information regarding:

It is recommended that you register your travel plans with DFAT in case of an emergency.

Visitors are responsible for their own safety, welfare and security of belongings at all times.

Security and crowd management are the responsibility of French security personnel with airport-style screening of visitors at the entry point to the commemorative site, including bag searches.

You should follow the instructions of French security personnel at all times.

Other associated events and activities

A number of other activities will take place in France in April in addition to the official services.

More information will be provided shortly.

Stay up to date!

Please check the DVA website often for up to date information. The timing of town services may change and we will update the website as soon as advice is received