Sir John Monash Centre will honour the ANZACs who fought on the Western Front
A first look at the winning design for the Sir John Monash Centre was unveiled by then Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott MP, in 2015 at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux in France.
When complete, the Sir John Monash Centre will educate a new audience about Australia’s early role in international affairs, reshape patterns of visitation of the battlefields and in so doing, provide a lasting legacy from the Centenary of Anzac.
The Centre is named after General Sir John Monash, who led the Australian Corps with outstanding success on the Western Front in 1918, including the famous 4 July 1918 victory at Le Hamel, which became a template for operations that followed.
Located at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux in France, the Centre will be the central hub of the existing Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, which links First World War sites of significance to Australia, including museums, battlefields, memorials and cemeteries.
At the back of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery is the site of the Australian National Memorial to the Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium and who lie under the battlefields. The Memorial consists of a great central tower flanked by wing walls carrying panels commemorating the 10,772 Australian casualties who died in France and who have no known grave. Those who died in Belgium and who have no known grave are commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the Missing.
Last week the 1,000 square metre cantilevered concrete roof of the Centre was poured. The pour began at 3:00am and took 62 trucks and 10.5 hours to complete.
The Sir John Monash Centre will be open to visitors by Anzac Day 2018.