Such was the camaraderie forged on the battlefields of the Western Front that on Bastille Day, 1917, the Hon. David Storey, M.L.A. (Randwick), a member of the Holman Government, announced that the New South Wales Government intended to dedicate a portion of land, approximately 1 acre, permanently to the French nation and the French people, so that it might be kept sacred to their memory for ever. At a separate public meeting on the same day, Mr J. Garland, M.L.C., Minister for Justice and Solicitor General, announced that the Government of New South Wales had decided to make a gift to the French people, in perpetuity, of the piece of land at Botany Bay, where Laperouse landed. [Sydney Morning Herald, 16 July, 1917]. (Pictured above: Australian Diggers at the unveiling of the
First Division Memorial at Pozières, July 1917)
(Pictured: left – French sailors pay their respects on Bastille Day 1944; below – presentation of French street signs for Soldiers Settlement Matraville at the 2008 commemoration.
(Left: Street sign in Villers-Bretonneux for Victoria School named for Victoria, Australia).