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Discovering History and Friendship in Amiens: The Bailey Bridge & Memorial Garden

At France Travel Solutions, we always strive to find special events that add a unique, intimate touch to your journey. Our close relationships with French tourism entities allow us to offer bespoke experiences. One such extraordinary occasion was the opening ceremony of the Bailey Bridge in Amiens and the Memorial Garden, an event celebrating the camaraderie between Australia and France and paying homage to the valiant efforts of Australian Sappers during World War I.

Bridging History: The Bailey Bridge & Memorial Garden

Our experience began with an invite from Lieutenant Colonel George Hulse and the Amiens French Tourism board to attend the official opening of the Bailey Bridge, also known as the Engineers Memorial Bridge in Amiens. This structure stands as a symbol of resilience and friendship, commemorating the Australian Royal Engineers—brave ‘Sappers’ whose courageous acts were pivotal in saving the region during World War I. Attending the ceremony was a profound experience, particularly with the honorable presence of Lieutenant Colonel George Hulse. His dedication to recognizing the sacrifice of these soldiers was palpable, making the day even more poignant. For more on his incredible work, see our dedicated blog here.

Special Performances by Chantefique

Our day concluded with a soulful performance by Chantefique from the Alliance Française choir from Brisbane, Australia. Their harmonies echoed through the Memorial Garden, offering a moving tribute to the bravery and friendship commemorated by the bridge. The confluence of voices added an extra layer of poignancy to an already emotional day, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

Chantefique Choir Performing
Chantefique Choir

ANZAC Day Commemoration and the Heroic Recapture of Villers-Bretonneux

Additionally, we had the privilege of attending the ANZAC Day ceremonies in Villers-Bretonneux. This day holds immense emotional and historical significance, marking the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux. The ANZAC Day commemoration in Villers-Bretonneux features a solemn Dawn Service held to pay homage to fallen soldiers, followed by parades and remembrance activities that span the day.

Moreover, this day is historically poignant for another reason. At dawn on ANZAC Day in 1918, the ANZAC forces achieved a significant military victory by recapturing the town of Villers-Bretonneux from German forces. This act of bravery and strategy highlighted the critical role the ANZACs played in World War I and is a key event remembered during the ceremonies.

Enriching Activities: Explore Amiens Beyond the Memorial

A visit to Amiens offers more than just historical learning; it’s an opportunity for cultural enrichment. After the ceremony, we strolled through the serene Memorial Garden, beautifully landscaped and ideal for moments of reflection. Culture lovers will appreciate the magnificent Amiens Cathedral—one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another must-do activity is wandering through the floating gardens of Les Hortillonnages, a picturesque maze of waterways cultivated since medieval times.

Join Us for the 2025 Jewels of the North special ANZAC Day Tour

We invite you to join our 2025 Jewels of the North special ANZAC Day Tour where you can participate in these deeply moving ceremonies, explore the historical treasures of Northern France, and experience the exceptional beauty of Amiens. This tour is crafted to provide you with an immersive, respectful, and enriching experience, allowing you to connect with history while enjoying the unparalleled charm of our tour. For more details, visit our Jewels of the North 2025 Tour and discover why the Somme region, Normandy and Brittany are truly a northern France jewel here.

At France Travel Solutions, we believe in the 'duty of remember,' and there’s no better way to honor the past than by experiencing it firsthand. The opening of the Friendship Bridge underscored our commitment to remembrance tourism and heritage preservation. We felt proud to be part of such a significant event, contributing to the ongoing dialogue about the importance of remembering and inspiring future generations.

Join us on our next tour and become part of an extraordinary journey through history and culture. With our French local tour leaders, you’ll experience France in a way that’s both bespoke and deeply personal.


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