Villers Bretonneux is probably the best-known French town in Australia. On a small hill overlooking the countryside is a memorial dedicated to soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. From the top of the tower, you have a sweeping view of the now calm landscape, stretching to the horizon where the Cathédrale d’Amiens, 10 miles away, can be seen on a clear day. 450 000 Australian soldiers enrolled in the Australian Imperial Force during the Great War, that is 40 % of the mobilizable male population, 10% of the entire population of the country!
But who were these soldiers who came to fight so far from home? Most of them were young and all were volunteers. To get a better grasp of their story, you should visit the new Sir John Monash Centre, named after the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian troops who changed the course of the war resulting in the outstanding victory of the battle of Amiens in August 1918.