Anzac Day commemorations
If you are thinking of attending an Anzac Day ceremony, we recommend you read the latest Travel advisory for France (external link).
In metropolitan France, Anzac Day ceremonies are held every year in Le Quesnoy and Longueval on the nearest Sunday to 25 April. There will be no Anzac Day ceremony in 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in France. We are encouraging people to commemorate the day from wherever they are in lockdown. Our Facebook page (external link)has further details.
Le Quesnoy: 11am
Visitors are welcome to join locals for the annual procession departing at 11am from the Place du Général Leclerc to the New Zealand Battlefield Memorial. Wreaths are laid at the New Zealand Memorial then at the French Memorial in the town centre.
Directions: To get to Le Quesnoy from Paris: take the autoroute A1 north, following the signs for Valenciennes/Bruxelles. As you approach Valenciennes, take the motorway exit marked "Maubeuge/Le Quesnoy". Follow the signs on the N4 then the D934 to Le Quesnoy. Estimated travel time from Paris: 2h30. There are also trains from Paris (Gare du Nord) to Le Quesnoy via Valenciennes or Lille.
While you are in Le Quesnoy, you may wish to visit the Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension (external link) where 50 New Zealand soldiers from the First World War are buried.
The Anzac Day ceremony in Longueval will take place at 3pm at the New Zealand Battlefield Memorial. Visitors are welcome to attend.
Directions: To get to Longueval from Paris: take the autoroute A1 north, following the signs for Valenciennes/Bruxelles. Take exit n°13.1 to Albert. Go through the toll gate, take the second exit onto the D938 towards Albert/Bray-sur-Somme/Curlus/Combles. Turn right onto the D197 to Longueval (just before Maricourt). With Delville Wood on your right, fork left onto rue du Calvaire (partial dirt road) which leads to the New Zealand Memorial (external link).
Take the opportunity while you are in Longueval to visit Caterpillar Valley cemetery (external link) where 125 New Zealand soldiers are buried. The cemetery also contains a memorial to those men of the New Zealand Division (1,205 in total) who were killed in the Battles of the Somme in 1916 and whose bodies were never found. The cemetery is on the D20 (route de Bazentin), 1km west of Longueval on the south side of the road to Contalmaison.