2011 Hogarths on the move again - to places afar travel blog

Up at 3.30 – into our little van and we find our way to Villers-Bretonneux for the dawn service. Thought we were early however hundreds of cars already parked and we have a bit of a walk.

The service very special. The various speeches were so good and even Kevin Rudd is to be commended. The music was an Australian school band (cannot remember which school – there were so many there) and the singing lead by a young service woman. Approximately 5,000 attended the service.

During the service the temperature dropped from 13 to 6 degrees.

Afterwards tea and coffee and biscuits offered before we made our way to the town square in the actual town of Villers-Bretonneux for a wreath laying service for the French army.

We meet up with the Tasmanian contingent of Michelle O’Byrne and her family and the six winners of the Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize and their accompanying teachers.

After lunch we visit a number of the other memorials; the huge British Memorial, the Ulster Memorial, a New Zealand Memorial and a couple of smaller ones stuck in farmers paddocks and off the beaten track.

Quite late getting back so return to our favourite restaurant (hand shakes all round from the waiters) for our last meal and we spend the latter part of the evening with our recently met Sydneysiders.

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