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ANZAC Day 2008

The Department of Veterans' Affairs produces an Anzac Day poster every year commemorating a particular theme. These posters are distributed widely across Australia and overseas.

If you would like a copy of the current poster please call 1800 026 185.
Please note: there is a limited number of posters available.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has released its 2008 Anzac Day poster commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

Villers-Bretonneux was the most important of a series of battles fought by Australians that resisted German attacks on the Somme in the first half of 1918.

The German capture of Villers-Bretonneux at dawn on the 24 April was the final effort of the offensive that had commenced so successfully for the Germans on 21 March 1918. Early in April the first German attack towards Villers-Bretonneux had been thwarted, but the British defenders on 24 April had little answer to the German advance, and the village fell to the enemy.

Two Australian brigades, the 13th of the 4th Division, under Brigadier-General Glasgow, and the 15th of the 5th Division, under Brigadier-General Elliott were set the task of retaking the township.  They adopted a pincer movement with Glasgow's 50th (SA), 51st (WA) and 52nd (SA, WA and Tas) Battalions and the 49th (Qld) Battalion in reserve, to sweep past Villers-Bretonneux to the south. Elliott's Victorians of 57th, 59th and 60th Battalions and the 58th in reserve were to attack from the north.

During the night of  24 April, the 13th Brigade faced intense machine-gun fighting in Bois d’Aquenne before they could proceed.  The two brigades then linked up east of the village to encircle the Germans.  The allied attack to retake Villers-Bretonneux was achieved at dawn on the 25 April, through the fierce fighting of the Australians from the east, and from the British troops coming in from the north and west.  

The counter-attack cost nearly 1,500 Australian casualties, but the action restored stability to this area of the battlefield and added to the reputation of Australians on the Western Front.  Lieutenant Clifford Sadlier was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery and leadership under fire in this engagement and Sergeant Stokes was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. 

The moving image on the poster is of men from the 46th Battalion (Victoria), coming out of the front line at Monument Wood, near Villers-Bretonneux, after a period of heavy fighting in 1918.

View the 2008 ANZAC day poster.

 


Sourced from The Department of Veteran Affairs