Weekly Photo Challenge – Beyond


The Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery contains the graves of 2142 soldiers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died on the battlefields of France and Flanders in the First World War.

Beyond the cemetery is the Australian National Memorial which commemorates all Australians who served in France and Belgium. Its walls are engraved with the names of nearly 11 000 Australian soldiers whose final resting places are unknown. The scale of loss, from one field of war and from one nation alone, is beyond imagination.

The Memorial Tower stands at the centre of the memorial. The inscription on each side of the door, to the left in English and to the right in French, reads “TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN FORCE IN FRANCE AND FLANDERS 1916-1918 AND OF ELEVEN THOUSAND WHO FELL IN FRANCE AND HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE”. Above the door is The Rising Sun badge, the official insignia of the Australian Army. The view from inside the tower takes in the cemetery and  beyond to the surrounding countryside, once a battlefield but now at peace.



37 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Beyond

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Beyond | Home Far Away From Home

      • Last Fall, we returned to Honolulu for my mother-in-law’s funeral at Punchbowl Cemetery, the national military cemetery of the Pacific. My father-in-law, who died years ago had served, so his wife was buried with him.

        Punchbowl Cemetery is breathtaking in its scenery…and serenity. It truly is a destination where one can sit and ponder life and death…and everything in-between.


    • It’s actually not very far from Villers-Brettoneux, only about a five minute drive, and there are many other small villages close by. We commented when we were there about how close all the villages were, which was a good thing for the soldiers because they went everywhere on foot. Nothing in France is in the middle of nowhere, if you get what I mean!


  2. Long story short, I understand that the memorial has undergone significant landscaping changes since around 2010. I wanted to know if the trees in the graveyard (like shown in your photos) were from before or after the changes. Thanks again for your reply.


  3. Also, I was wondering if I might have your permission to use your 4th image (of the memorial/flags) in my entry for the ACT Chief Minister’s Anzac Spirit Prize. I would include it in a video I am making with the purpose of “exploring the enduring connection between the people of France and Australia, and what this important relationship teaches us about courage, sacrifice, resilience and the future”. The Territory would have permission to use the contents of the video for “non-commercial purposes, including for promotional purposes in relation to the Prize, and future Territory prizes, events and initiatives.” I would, of course, give you appropriate credit. Thanks again!


  4. Thanks again for letting me use the image, I just found out that I was actually one of the two winners of the competition!
    My finished entry, if you want to see it, is available on YouTube at:
    https://youtu.be/rwRjKf0IGuw. It looks best if you play it in a high quality.
    Thanks so much again for letting me include your picture!


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