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Musée Franco-Australien de Villers-Bretonneux

- Somme

The Australian Trail : Somme

 

Australian Corps Memorial Park Le Hamel

Le Hamel

The memorial commemorates the participation of the Australian army corps in the decisive battle of the 4th July 1918 when General Monash led the Australian and American troops in a 93 minute tactical battle.

It consists of three curved walls clad with Green granite panels. Mounted on the central wall is a large bronze sculpture of the Australian Imperial Force General Service badge, known as the “Rising Sun” badge. On the two outer walls is portrayed an extract from the speech (in English and in French) made by the Prime Minister of France, George Clémenceau, to Australian troops a few days after the capture of Le Hamel.

Besides the ruins of a German trench, the park features a series of 20 interpretive panels about the battle in English and in French.

 

Pozières

pozieres

The Australian memorial to the first division and the site of the “Gibraltar”; an enormous 3-metre high blockhouse-observation point where now only the foundations remain.

The “Windmill” site now bears a lead plaque, representing a memorial to the 2nd Division. The grassy site also bears the Tank Memorial; the four bronzes at the corners of this plain obelisk are small-scale models of the tanks that were used 1916-1918.

In the Thiepval direction we can find a small memorial to the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) which indicates the site where once stood Mouquet farm.

 

Péronne - Mont St Quentin

Péronne - Mont St Quentin

On the D1017 (Australians Avenue) inaugurated on September 2nd 1971 to replace the monument set up in 1925, later dismantled in 1940 under German occupation during the second World War.

The late monument represented a “digger” (Australian soldier) pinning down a German eagle with his bayonet.

 

Sailly-le-Sec

Sauilly le Sec

On the D1 Corbie/Bray-sur-Somme, a signpost indicates the place (near to the brick works) where the famous German aviator, Manfred Von Richthofen crashed, usually know as the “The Red Baron”, due to his plane, Triplan Fokker, being red. Three other explanatory signposts concerning the Red Baron are situated on the Somme: Cappy (Site of the German aerodrome), Bertangles (where he was buried with due ceremony by the Australian troops), Fricourt (German military cemetery where he was buried for the second time). He now lies in the family burial vault in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Further along the road: the memorial to the Australian 3rd Division.

 

Dernancourt

References to Australia: Adelaide Pavilion School and Australia Street.

 

Amiens

In the cathedral, the Great War is evoked through a marble plaque affixed to a pillar in the cathedral. It was dedicated to the men of the AIF (Australian imperial Force) who had fought on the Somme between March and August 1918 and defended the city of Amiens from the Germans and also through the flags of the belligerent allies in the chapel of the Sacred Heart, one of which is Australian.