It was an early start. I was up at 1:30 am (in the morning) to go Villes Bretonneau for the ANZAC Dawn Service. What an emotionally stunning service. I only have the one picture because it was raining and there were 6000 people at the ceremony. Before dawn the darkness and the rain combined to create a sense of what it must have been like for the Australian Soldiers one hundred years ago. Cold and wet. And as the dawn broke to a new day Commemorative Wreaths were laid to honour those who serve/d in all wars. The Mayor of Fromelles laid a particularly beautiful wreath and after the ceremony I was able to lay a wreath card from Mullumbimby.
While I was there I said a prayer for Joseph Ambrose Sylvester Halcroft – He was the grandfather of a friend of mine from Mullumbimby. Joseph died in the first world war and is buried at Villes Bretonneau and his granddaughter Jo wrote a very special message on one of the Australian War Memorial Crosses.
Mid morning I attended a civic reception with the Mayor of Fromelles, Jean Gabriel Masson at the Town Hall in Villers- Bretonneux. This was followed by a Memorial Service and then the Annual ANZAC Day Concert.
and then to Bullecourt. AT Bullecourt there was one ceremony at the memorial statues in the town. After that we walked behind the band and the main party, moving to the sound of Waltzing Matilda and Click Go the Shears and some stirring French tunes. We walked up to the battlefields and the Digger Memorial Statue. I liked this last ceremony very much – the school children read poems and participated in the ceremony and there was a wonderful community spirit.
Lest We Forget