Villers-Bretonneux is a village 16 kilometres east of Amiens on the straight main road to St Quentin. Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery is about 2 kilometres north of the village on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.
Villers-Bretonneux became famous in 1918, when the German advance on Amiens ended in the capture of the village by their tanks and infantry on 23 April. On the following day, the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions, with units of the 8th and 18th Divisions, recaptured the whole of the village and on 8 August 1918, the 2nd and 5th Australian Divisions advanced from its eastern outskirts in the Battle of Amiens. The memorial is the Australian National Memorial erected to commemorate all Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium during the First World War, to their dead, and especially to name those of the dead whose graves are not known. The Australian servicemen named in this register died in the battlefields of the Somme, Arras, the German advance of 1918 and the Advance to Victory. The memorial stands within Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, which was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other burial grounds in the area and from the battlefields. Both the cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The memorial was unveiled by King George VI on 22 July 1938. DISCOVERY OF REMAINS AND ADDITIONAL COMMEMORATIONS Of the 10,982 names displayed at the unveiling of the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial the burial places of many have since been identified and this continues to this day; 6 of these being among the significant discovery of 250 burials which culminated in the first new Commission cemetery in 50 years being dedicated in July 2010 as Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Cemetery. All these discoveries are now commemorated by individual headstones in the cemeteries where their remains lie and their details recorded in the relevant cemetery registers; their names will be removed from this memorial in due course. Time has also revealed more names not previously notified which have now been added to this memorial and register. There are now 10,765 Australian servicemen officially commemorated by this memorial and named within the register.