Photo: 2nd Divisional Memorial at Mont St.Quentin [Ray Hudson]
The 2nd Division Memorial stands beside the road known as the Avenue des Australiens just two kilometres from the Somme River. It is the only Australian Divisional Memorial which has changed since it was erected. The memorial originally featured atop its large marble plinth a Digger symbolically bayoneting a German eagle.
John Laffin, in his book, Guide to Australian Battlefields of the Western Front 1916-1918 describes how the change came about: ‘Germans who occupied France during the Second World War were affronted by the Digger and his dying eagle and removed them. They have not been seen since. However, the Germans did not damage the plinth or the bronze plaques and in 1971 a new and splendid memorial was erected.’
The web-site Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 elaborates on the Battle of Mont St.Quentin and the 2nd Division Memorial.
To read and see more on the unveiling of the 2nd Division Memorial, on 30th August 1925, click here.
To gain an insight in to the importance of Mont St.Quentin – The key to the whole enemy position – click here.
To meet some of the men who paid the supreme sacrifice at the Battle of Mont St.Quentin –A man every inch of him – click here.
The Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser carries the story of a visit to the Western Front battlefields and Mont St.Quentin by a Sydney school principal. To read the report in the local Fairfax newspaper entitled Badge of honour comes home with a pilgrim click here.