100th anniversary of ANZAC battles of Bullecourt, when 10,000 Australians lost their lives

It was exactly one hundred years ago that a staggering 10,000 Australian men lost their lives in just two battles on the Western Front during World War I. 

Terry Walsh, president of the Griffith RSL, says it’s incredible that so many young people don’t know about these events – which were further examples of poor British planning leading to a monumental sacrifice of Australian lives.

Mr Walsh wants to rectify this by paying tribute to the two battles for Bullecourt in Northern France at the ANZAC Day services that will be held in Griffith on Tuesday. 

It was in April 2017 that four divisions of the ANZAC Corps supported the British in attacking German forces in the French village of Bullecourt. 

The British high command decided to use tanks for the first time in fighting history, but they arrived late, broke down and were quickly destroyed. 

The Australians suffered 3,300 casualties, and 1,170 more were taken as prisoners.

A renewed attempt was made to secure the  village of Bullecourt in May. This proved even more disastrous, fierce German counter-attacks led to more than 7,000 Australian deaths.  

Mr Walsh says by not appreciating the enormous sacrifices made, we are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

“It’s so easy for politicians to send young people off to fight and die.” 

The Griffith RSL Sub-Branch encourages the Griffith community to attend ANZAC Day services to be held on Tuesday 25 April (see Page 7 for details).