Val de Somme offers an immersive experience in the past, from the Gallo Roman period to the First World War via the Middle Ages. If you take the time to seek them out, there are historic references everywhere, within your reach. Take part in an archaeological dig, discover the relic of one of the fingers of St Peter of Rome or stand on the site where the red Baron crashed; travelling through the Val de Somme is like a journey through time.
History and Memorial in Val de Somme
THE TOURIST OFFICE OF THE VAL DE SOMME CAN HELP YOU
The tourist office is at your disposal for every research about an ancester fallen on the territory of the Val de Somme (Villers-Bretonneux, Le Hamel, Sailly-le-Sec, Corbie ...).
28/30 Place de la République - 80800 Corbie
Tel. +33 (0)3 22 96 95 76
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Caroline minuscule script appeared around 770, at the instigation of Charlemagne. It is uniform and regular, with clear rounded, but above all legible, forms. It established rules for writing which were not systematic previously, such as the separation of words with a space.
The Australian National Memorial
This imposing memorial in white stone consists of a high central tower connected to two wings by simple walls on which are inscribed the names of 10,771 Australian soldiers reported as missing on the Western front in France, and who have no known grave.
Every year a memorial ceremony takes place on Anzac Day. In front of the Memorial is a military cemetery in which the bodies of 779 Australian soldiers lie, the majority of whom died in 1918 during the battles which took place on the plain of the Somme.
WARNING : Work on the Sir John Monash Centre, to be located behind the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux in the Somme, commenced in January 2016 and will continue through to the official opening of the Centre in April 2018. During this period, there may be short periods of disruption to visitors at the site and the adjacent Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Villers-Bretonneux Military cemetery.
As part of the works, the Australian National Memorial will be cleaned and refurbished. This will at times necessitate limited access to the tower during the month of October 2017, including a two-day closure on 18-19 October. Over the winter months, from 14 November 2017 through to mid-February 2018, temporary scaffolding will be installed and the tower will be closed. However, visitors will still be able to visit the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery and view the Commemorative Wall. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Franco-Australian Museum
On the first floor of the Victoria school, built in 1927, is the Franco Australian Museum which retraces the history of the Australian expeditionary corps during the First World War, particularly on the Western front in 1918. It presents exhibitions of photographs, uniforms, weapons, letters and personal items…
Access & contact :
9 rue Victoria - 80800 Villers-Bretonneux
Tel. +33 (0)3 22 96 80 79
Opening time :
Open 7 days a week fomr Novembre to February (9h30 to 16h30) and from Mars to Octobre (9h30 to 17h30)
5 euros (+18 y-o), 3 euros (from 13 to 18)
Photo : Didier Cry
THE LE HAMEL MEMORIAL
This commemorates and interprets the battle of Le Hamel which took place on 4 July 1918, when, with the support of the Americans, General Monash launched a hugely victorious attack by combining for the first time infantry, artillery, air forces and tanks, thus heralding the tactics of modern warfare.
This memorial park was created in the village of Le Hamel by the Australian state and inaugurated on 7 August 1998. The site’s panoramic displays and explanatory panels help visitors to understand the strategic challenge which it represented during the battle. Several trenches have been preserved.
On the morning of 27 March 1918, the leading battalions of the third Australian division were met with an extremely warm welcome in the village of Sailly-le-Sec.
Currently under construction, the center will inform a wide audience on the leading role for Australia in international relations, will change the way we visit battlefields and in doing so will provide a lasting international legacy of the centenary of Anzac.
Every 25 April, Anzac day commemorates the bloody Battle of Gallipoli between the Australian and New Zealand forces and the Ottoman army in 1915. Every year the event brings together several thousand Australians and New Zealanders on French territory. 1918 was the most significant year for the communes of Villers-Bretonneux and Le Hamel which saw the Australian expeditionary corps halt the German advance on 25 April, thus avoiding the capture of Amiens.
Every year in Villers-Bretonneux, “Dawn Service”, a memorial ceremony, takes place at dawn on 25 April at the National Australian Memorial.
Did you know? ANZAC is an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and refers to the troops from Oceania who fought during the First World War. Every 25 April at 5 am in the morning (Dawn Service)