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Villers-Bretonneaux Plaques


Central Coast Peacekeepers, Retired Police and Vietnam Veterans respond to French Gratitude on Anzac Day

On Anzac Day 2015 specially designed plaques will be presented to Victoria School in the town of Villers-Bretonneux France, on behalf of the Central Coast Retired Police officers and Central Coast Vietnam Veterans.

It was exactly 3 years after the Anzacs stormed ashore at Gallipoli that Australian troops with the loss of twelve hundred soldiers in a do or die battle liberated this strategic town in France. This victory marked the end of the German offensive in the Somme. It led to the liberation of occupied France and ultimately the end of World War 1.

The inhabitants of Villers-Bretonneux have never forgotten the sacrifice made by those Australian soldiers to liberate their town in 1918. At the local school, named “Victoria School”, the children learn in detail the history of their towns liberation. In every classroom above the blackboard there is the inscription “N'oublions jamais l'Australie” (Let us never forget Australia) Victoria School houses a museum dedicated to the Australian Infantry Forces of Liberation.

Every year on Anzac Day a commemorative service is held in Villers-Bretonneux with many Australians attending. This year (2015) Bill Ide of Woy Woy, representing the retired Police of the Central Coast and Larry Searle of Lisarow, representing the Central Coast Vietnam Veterans will present the two plaques to the school.

Umina Beach Men's Shed was involved in the preparation of one of those plaques as a result of Bill Ides involvement in the Shed. Another Shed member, Bill Wood (also a Vietnam Veteran) had to overcome some technical difficulties to prevent the mounting board warping. The brass plaque was finally mounted on a finished Victorian Ash timber board with glue and escutcheon pins to give the plaque a truly professional finish normally found on items created by the Umina Beach Men's Shed.



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