Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anzac Day

The way Jimmy Downing, who was a solicitor from Victoria, describes it, he was in the brigade that attacked around Villers-Bretonneux from the north. There was another brigade, an Australian brigade, to the south. The idea was to sort of envelope Villers-Bretonneux and cut off the Germans there.

Anyway, the way that Jimmy tells it, once they got going and they actually ran into the Germans, for some reason the Australians just went mad. And they literally yelled and charged. They yelled so loud on Jimmy Downing’s side that the Australians on the other side of Villers-Bretonneux - and it is a fair way away - they could actually hear the yells and they just literally bayoneted every German they could see ...
These men in Jimmy Downing’s brigade had been at Fromelles and in part it was probably revenge for that. But it was a very bloody encounter and the Australians in fact saved Villers-Bretonneux that night.

Tony Jones speaks with Les Carlyon

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