The village of Bullecourt lies 12½ miles/20kms southeast of Arras. Part of the Hindenburg Line in 1917 it was heavily defended by wire, machine guns and infantry in front-line trenches.
The Bullecourt offensive was due to start on 10th April 1917 but the Australian element did not proceed because their tanks had not arrived in time. The British 62nd Div were not told of this delay and began the attack as planned. Their attack had some success in breaking through the belts of wire and closing with the Hindenburg line.
The following day the Australians were subjected to intense machine gun fire and some 30% were killed or wounded. They fought ferociously, breaking through the German lines at great cost but, as their commanders had always feared, became isolated, surrounded on three sides and forced to retreat. The tanks were not the break-through weapon that had been hoped although they caused confusion and panic amongst the German troops.
On ANZAC Day, following the Dawn Ceremony at Villers Bretonneux, a Ceremony of Remembrance is held in the centre of the village, opposite the Mairie and outside the parish church.