Home' Vetaffairs : Vetaffairs - Winter 2017 Contents 10 — Vetaffairs Winter 2017
75th anniversary of the
Battle of El Alamein
re-opens in Villers-Bretonneux
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Dan Tehan has officially
re-opened the extensively
Museum at Villers-Breton-
neux in France, in company
with the local Mayor, Patrick
At a ceremony on 24 April,
Mr Tehan said the Australian
Government had contributed
more than $2 million to the
project, which included the
reconstruction and refurbish-
ment of a complete section of
the existing Victoria School, in
which the museum is located.
The now larger and more con-
temporary museum facility
houses the Franco-Australian
Association’s extensive col-
lection of objects.
Museum is a symbol of the
between France and Australia,
and its remarkable collection
is a record of the close bond
between the people of Villers-
Bretonneux and the people of
Australia,’ Mr Tehan said.
‘The reimagined and
redeveloped museum and
exhibition is a credit to the
efforts of the Franco-Austral-
ian Association and the town
to remember and honour the
First World War and the con-
tribution made by Australians
The refurbishment was
conducted as part of the
Trail along the Western
Front under an Australian
Government initiative deliv-
ered by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs in coopera-
tion with French and Belgian
authorities. The Trail high-
lights sites of significance
to the Australian experience
of the Western Front during
the First World War.
Nominations are now open for veterans of the
Battle of El Alamein to attend the 75th anni-
versary commemoration in Canberra.
The commemoration of the 75th anniversary
of the Battle of El Alamein will be a key event in
DVA’s Century of Service domestic program in
2017. A Last Post Ceremony will be held at the
Australian War Memorial on 23 October 2017.
See the Memorial’s Facebook page (facebook.
com/AWMemorial) closer to the time for more
DVA invites Australian veterans who served in
El Alamein between 1 July and 4 November 1942
to attend the commemoration in Canberra.
Veterans who wish to be sponsored by DVA
to attend the commemoration are required to
nominate. Veterans will be accepted through
a selection process, including medical assess-
ment for fitness to travel. DVA will bring
selected veterans to Canberra with their nomi-
Nominations close on Friday, 11 August 2017.
Details about the commemoration, the
nomination process and the support that
will be provided to eligible veterans are avail-
able on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au
(click on the ‘Commemorations, Memorials
and War Graves’ tab, and select ‘Commemo-
rations and Anniversaries’, then ‘domestic
Alternatively, contact DVA on 02 6289 6057
during business hours.
The Battle of El Alamein
El Alamein was one of the Second
World War’s decisive battles. Fighting
in the El Alamein area of western Egypt
began in July 1942. Australian troops
were in action at Ruin Ridge that
month and at Tel el Eisa in Septem-
ber. The main battle was fought from
23 October to 5 November 1942 when
the British 8th Army, which included
the Australian 9th Division, launched
a major offensive against German and
The Australians played a key role
in the battle, driving forward on the
British right flank along the Mediterra-
nean coast and withstanding a series
of determined counter-attacks, some
in division strength. Allied attacks
in the south eased the pressure and,
when British armour broke through,
German forces began to withdraw.
The German advance on Cairo, the
Suez and ultimately the oil fields of
the Middle East was at an end.
The Germans never regained the ini-
tiative, and their last troops left North
Africa in 1943. The 9th Division suf-
fered more than 2,600 casualties, about
one-fifth of the 8th Army’s losses.
In April, Australians honoured the sacrifice of our servicemen
and women at hundreds of Anzac Day ceremonies throughout
the country and around the world.
At Gallipoli, about 1,000 people attended the Dawn Service at
Anzac Cove, and around 700 took part in the memorial service at
Lone Pine a few hours later.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop spoke at both events.
‘While the war lasted four long years, and while Australians
distinguished themselves as courageous, valiant, skilled and
selfless in battle after battle, across the Middle East and the
Western Front, it was the Gallipoli campaign that captured the
imagination of our country,’ Ms Bishop said.
‘The 25th of April is etched into our calendar as a most sacred
national day – not by government edict or decree, but through
the deep understanding of generations of Australians that this
Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial outside
Villers-Bretonneux in France. Courtesy: Department of Defence.
Anzac Day Service at the Bomana War Cemetery, Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea. Courtesy: Department of Defence.
Links Archive Vetaffairs - Autumn 2017 v2 Vetaffairs - Spring 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page