Thousands Expected At First Western Front Dawn Service

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15th April 2008, 01:54pm - Views: 693

Government Government Minister For Veterans' Affairs 1 image

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


Tuesday 15 April 2008  


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, today confirmed he would join an expected 4000

people from Australia, France and other allied countries at the Anzac Day Dawn Service on 25

April at Villers-Bretonneux, France. 

The Minister said that the service, held at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-

Bretonneux, will commemorate the 90th anniversary of Western Front battles that led to final

victory in 1918.

“Some 295,000 Australians served in the Australian Imperial Force in France and Belgium

between April 1916 and November 1918 in a campaign where more than 46,000 Australians

lost their lives,” he said.

“A key battle on the Western Front was at Villers-Bretonneux where, on the night of 24 and 25

April, soldiers of the 13th and 15th Australian Brigades liberated the village from the enemy. 

This was a significant achievement that helped stop the German spring offensive on the

Western Front and contributed to allied victory later in the year.”

As part of the commemorations, Minister Griffin will also attend several ceremonies organised

each year by the local community at Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt on 26 April.

During his visit to France Mr Griffin will:

visit key battlefields and memorials at a number of locations including Fromelles, Ypres,

Tyne Cot, Pozieres, Bullecourt and Passchendaele;

attend a Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate;

pay his respects at the Notre Dame de Lorete (the French National Memorial on the

Somme); and

attend bilateral meetings with the French Secretary of State for Veterans’ Affairs, Mr

Jean-Marie Bockel.

The Minister will be available for limited interviews while in France.

Please contact Laura Ryan on 0437 863 109 or email

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