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.