Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918

The Australian Remembrance Trail in France and Belgium

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Special Features

  • Australian Remembrance Trail NEWS

    ART News

    The Trail links sites of the most significant Australian battles of the First World War. Developed by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs in partnership with local French and Belgian communities, councils and regional governments the Trail project will be completed in time for the centenary of the First World War.
    Find out more about the ART Trail...

  • Where did Australians fight on the Western Front?

    Western Front Map Feature

    The Western Front stretching 750 kilometres from the Belgian coast, through France to the Swiss border, was bogged down in trenches and mud. More than 295,000 Australians served here. It was a baptism of fire for the new nation of Australia. View a map of where Australians fought.
    Go to the Western Front map feature...

  • Australians reinterred at Fromelles

    Fromelles reinterment feature

    Almost a century after the Battle of Fromelles; and after two years of painstaking excavation, recovery and identification work, 250 Australian and British Soldiers killed on the night of 19-20 July 1916 were reinterred with full military honours in individual graves at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery.
    More about the reinterment...

  • On This Spot: Your personal guide

    On This Spot: Your personal guide

    At twelve key locations on the Western Front listen to a four minute audio-cast featuring the extraordinary story of Australian soldiers ‘on this spot’. Each audio-cast can be downloaded to phone, tablet or laptop on location, or at home, and played as you tour the Australian Remembrance Trail.
    More about the on this spot guides...

  • What happened here?

    Illustrated battles feature

    As you visit the twelve key locations of the Australian Remembrance Trail on this site, view illustrated summaries of each of the main battle action in which Australians took part. Through maps, animations and contemporary images, you will step back in time to the battles on the Western Front
    More about the illustrated battles...

Australian National Memorial – Villers‑Bretonneux, France

Overview: at this location on the Australian Remembrance Trail

Entrance to Australian National War Memorial tower at Villers–Bretonneux
Show caption

On 22 July 1938, Queen Elizabeth laid a bunch of poppies, given to her by a local schoolboy, at the unveiling of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. Was she thinking of her own brother, Fergus Bowes-Lyon, ‘missing’ at the Battle of Loos in 1915? Around the walls of the Memorial were the names of some 11,000 Australians ‘missing’ in action in France. On the night of 24–25 April 1918, Australian soldiers recaptured Villers-Bretonneux from the Germans, a battle also remembered in the Franco-Australian museum at the Victoria school in the town. In the playground is a sign: ‘Never Forget Australia’.

The Franco-Australian Museum

The Franco-Australian Museum located in Villers-Bretonneux tells the story of Australia’s involvement in the area and the ongoing relationship with the town through a collection of objects, letters and memorabilia. The Australian Government will contribute approximately A$2.1 million to a major refurbishment. The Museum is due to close in November 2014 and reopen in April 2016. During this time a temporary exhibition will be housed elsewhere within the same building.

Visiting information can be found at the Franco-Australian Museum website.

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