Main Image
Photographer: Tim Skelton; Courtesy of Building Magazine, CWGC

Australian National War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery

Gazetteer No. G0400

Date 1924-38

Address Fouilloy, Somme France


The Australian Memorial to the Missing of the Great War had a somewhat chequered history. Following the conclusion of hostilities the Australians decided that the most appropriate place for their memorial would be at Villers-Bretonneux, where its army under Sir John Monash played a key role in halting the German Spring Offensive in 1918.

An architectural competition was launched in December 1925, limited to Australian architects who had either served in the war or whose sons had served. It was won by William Lucas, an architect from Melbourne, who proposed a design with four massive columns on a tall plinth, that would stand at the end of a cemetery designed by Lutyens. For various reasons, including the state of the economy, work did not start and, when the matter was reconsidered in 1930s, Lutyens was appointed to prepare the design. His initial scheme was rejected due to the lack of a tower from which to survey the battlefield and his eventual design was dedicated by King George V on 22 July 1938, the last of the architect’s war memorials to be built. (Contributor: Tim Skelton)


Also Cited In

Geurst, J. (2010) Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol III: Town and Public Buildings: Memorials: The Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.

Listing Grade

Monument Historique

Listing Reference



Imperial War Graves Commission