First World War: Villers-Bretonneux

N'oublions jamais l'Australie ["Let us never forget Australia "] - these words appear in the classrooms of the school in Villers-Bretonneux, in northern France.

After the war, the school was rebuilt with money raised by donations from Victoria, Australia. The school plaque carries the following words:

This school building is the gift of the schoolchildren of Victoria, Australia, to the children Villers-Bretonneux as a proof of their love and good-will towards France. Twelve hundred Australian soldiers, the fathers and brothers of these children, gave their lives in the heroic recapture of this town from the invader on 24th April 1918 and are buried near this spot. May the memory of great sacrifices in a common cause keep France and Australia together forever in bonds of friendship and mutual esteem.

In 1984 the towns of Villers-Bretonneux and Robinvale, Victoria, were twinned.

View of the ruined church of Villers-Bretonneux
View of the ruined church of Villers-Bretonneux
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