Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

War and Rumors of War
Monday 15th July - Corbie

The Australian government is said to have spent more than a hundred million of our dollars in the construction of the Sir John Monash Centre in the Australian cemetery near the village of Villers-Bretonneux, and it has all the attributes one might expect of a museum conceived a century after the actions it commemorates.

It’s a curious place, contemporary with the feeling of being “not from round here” and almost devoid of the usual crusty artefacts dug from the trenches.  Instead modern multi media displays with more than five hours of commentary play in three languages via personal devices should one have the fortitude to take it all in.

In one way it’s a fitting tribute for the eyes of a new generation, in another perhaps it’s simply there for the gratification of Australian pilgrims, coming variously to pay homage to the lost or to pat themselves on the back in pride of the sacrifice of their forebears.  No matter, for this is the region in which the Australian troops of the first world war left an impression so indelible that a country’s gratitude is still present a century later.

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