Villers-Bretonneux Things to Do
No one visiting Somme battle sites should do so without an understanding of the pivotal role played by Australian General, Sir John Monash in World War One. Monash's use of coordinated combined forces including:- troops from several nations; artillery; tanks & aircraft plus meticulous planning; preparing up-to-date maps and the use of subterfuge to...more
An iconic symbol of the ANZAC Legend is the hard tack biscuit or "tile" which was baked in Australia and issued to Australian and New Zealand soldiers in overseas theatres of war during the Great War. They are a hardy product capable of surviving the rigours of transport and storage in the deplorable WW1 trench living conditions. The product was...more
Please look at "Lest We Forget" video on EasyMalc's Belgium Page. It's backed by an Eric Bogle song,"The Green Fields Of France" - the finest anti war song ever written."The Green Fields Of France", performed by Irish Band, The Furey Brothers will have you taking a copy with you to the Somme to play as you drive the Western Front.more
If you are arriving at these VirtualTourist.com reviews via a search engine, please also read my Villers-Bretonneux General Intro PageClick blue text to link directly... To cut and paste - URL: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/ae2c2/14357/For a comprehensive guide on "How to Plan a Visit to Villers-Bretonneux on ANZAC DAY" and other times -...more
"N'oublions jamais l'Australie" (Never forget Australia).This museum is housed in the Victoria School very close to the centre of Villers-Bretonneux. It houses WW1 memorabilia of particular interest to Australians. "Victoria" comes from the fact that the school was re-built after WW One, financed by donations from Australian school children living...more
Photograph a Memorial Inscription or Headstone on behalf of a friend or for your own family.Having successfully researched the location of the inscription or grave site using the available search facilities the next step is to find the locale and mark the location for navigation purposes. Google Earth may be very helpful in providing locations.May...more
The Route de Hamel leads east & north of Villers-Bretonneux to the most recently re-constructed memorial to Australian Diggers at a battle site which marked the turning point of WW1. On July 4th 1918, an Australian planned and commanded battle was so successful it established the pattern of future Allied operations.Office of Australian War Graves...more
The poppy is the symbol of the Western Front. Rosemary evokes Gallipoli where it grows wild on the Peninsula. It is commonly worn as a lapel on Anzac Day. Why not wear both?!! Check out other customs associated with Anzac Day in Australia before you venture forth to celebrations of Anzac Day in overseas' destinations. Check them out even if you are...more
Visit the Australian War Memorial approx 2 kms north of Villers-Bretonneux. Every year there has been a service here on the Saturday before Anzac Day April 25th.Over 2000 Australian Servicemen are buried or are commemorated here. Prepare yourself to shed a tear or two as you read the inscriptions on the tombstones & read the names on the facade of...more
Villers-Bretonneux What to Pack
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I was somewhat bemused (embarrassed to be an Australian) to see on the tv coverage of the 2008 dawn ANZAC Day service at the Australian Memorial Oz visitors dressed in summer attire more suited to a beach in Oz. Some of the visitors interviewed were obviously distressed - not by the solemn occasion, but by the hypothermia from which they were suffering.
The temperatures in Northern France in April are cold and near-zero pre-dawn is normal. Rain is likely!!.......The site is exposed to the elements as are the access routes.
If you do not arrive by shuttle bus, a visit entails walking from car parks 2kms or 3.7 kms away. .
Please don't give the rest of the world the impression that Australians are all ignorant. (service is telecast live by Ch 2 and Ch 9 in Australia). Take some warm gear including beanies, gloves, scarfs and a rainproof jacket & folding umbrella. Wear suitable foot wear. Carry water as well.
Please do not take Australian Flags to wear as apparel!!
Miscellaneous: Please don't take an Australian National Flag to wear like a cape or wrap. - Google "Australian Flag Etiquette "
You do not need to brand yourself as "Australian"by disrespecting the national flag. If you feel you must - wear green and gold.
Photographing someone's name on a memorial??
Take paper poppies and some double sided tape to mark the name before taking the photo.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Villers-Bretonneux Off The Beaten Path
Here is an "extreme" Off The Beaten Path Experience.
"Extreme" in that the "Path" is a long one - all the way to Queensland, Australia.
The only example of an original World War One German A7V Tank is housed in the Railway Workshops Museum in Ipswich (25 miles west of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).
A visit to see the "Mephisto", as it was named, is a rewarding one - just knowing that one is viewing a unique piece of WW1 equipment & knowing that it was retrieved "under fire" by members of the 26th Battalion (mainly Queenslanders) from a ditch in Momument Wood south of Villers Bretonneux in mid-1918.
If you cannot visit the Museum before your visit to France, put it on your "must do list" after coming back to Australia.
check out pedroswift's Ipswich intro page.
While at Villers visit the Monument Wood. (I have a visit on my 2016 "to do list" - so more info late 2016!).
While visiting Villers-Bretonneux, check out the model A7V tank in the Museum in the Victoria School in town. see photo 3
Mephisto at the Museum
Essential reading for anyone interested in "Mephisto" is the Queensland Museum Guide book number 9 - "A7V Mephisto : the last German First World War tank" . Authors - Gregory Czechura and Jeff Hopkins-Weise.ISBN:9780980569209 (pbk.) $9.95 from Qld Museum.
photo 1: "Mephisto" under plastic at Railway Museum.
photo 2: Qld Museum booklet on "Mephisto"
photo 3: "Mephisto" model in the Musée Australien, VB.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel