This service remembers the successful recapture of Villers Bretonneux in late April 1918. The French town was of great tactical value and on 24 April the Germans seized it from exhausted Allied defenders. Had they kept the town, it would have allowed them to threaten Allied positions at Amiens.
The Germans would hold the town for a single day. That same night the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades launched what is now considered a model of a well-planned and coordinated night attack. Although an unsecured flank and German machine-gun fire led to many casualties, the town was recaptured on 25 April.
Each year the Friends of the 15th Brigade mark the battle with a service at a Memorial Tree dedicated to one of the 15th Brigade's battalions.
Shrine Governor Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED
Reviewed 04 December 2023