At dawn of April 25, 1918 three years after the landing at Gallipoli, the Australian Imperial Force broken through the German entrenchment at Villers-Bretonneux in northern France.
By the next day the town was secured creating a new front line to the east. The town did not fall into enemy hands for the rest of WWI, and marked the end of the great German offensive on the Somme which had begun so successfully on 21 March 1918 and, as the historian of the 5th Division Charles Bean concluded, ‘Thereafter, no German ever set foot in Villers-Bretonneux save as a prisoner of war.’
Original B&W photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial Archives – composited with my 2013 shot made while visiting Villers-Bretonneux.
On this day 100 years ago, there were no green fields scattered with wildflowers and canola, just the blood and destruction of war.
Lest we forget ….