Victoria Primary School

The Franco-Australian Museum

One of Robin Cuttle's Uniforms

Robin Cuttle from Robinvale

The small town of Robinvale lies all but five hundred kilometres to the north west of Melbourne in Victoria. It's founder was a man called Herbert Cuttle who named it after his son Robin who had been killed in a dog fight over the Somme near Villers-Bretonneux in 1918.

Most of the troops who liberated Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 had come from the State of Victoria and as Robinvale and Villers-Bretonneux were of comparable sizes they decided to twin themselves in 1984.

Robin is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial and the uniform on display here was kindly donated by the family.

In Robinvale there is an area of their park which is named after their French twin, and by all accounts they have the largest windmill in the southern hemisphere.

 
The Museum

The Museum is housed in the roof of the school which can easily be found by following the signs from the main road. It is open Saturday afternoons or on simple demand at the Mairie. There is a small entrance charge, but during ANZAC Week it is free.

You can obtain quite a lot of information here about other areas of interest in the Somme.

There is a small screening room at the far end of the museum where you can watch a video presentation.

British 303 Rifle

A British .303 SMLE MkIII Rifle

 

Australia's Unknown Soldier

Australia's Unknown Soldier

At a special ceremony in 1993 an Australian Soldier was removed from Adelaide Cemetery and returned home to lie in Canberra. The flag and hat which had been used on the coffin are now on display in the museum.

The Mont St Quentin Monument

The 2nd Australian Division

A model of the original monument at Mont St Quentin erected in 1925 which was destroyed by the Germans during the Second World War.

They didn't like the depiction of an Australian bayoneting the German Eagle.

The replacement monument is rather less dramatic and was raised in 1971.

 

Mephisto

Model of the A7V Tank Mephisto

The model of this tank is not quite finished but it represents a tank of this class called Mephisto (Number 506) which was captured by Australian troops of the 26th Battalion AIF (composed mainly of Queenslanders) in 1918 near Villers-Bretonneux.

It had been involved in the assault on Villers-Bretonneux and had in fact been lying stranded in a deep crater near Monument Wood but it was only in July 1918 that the front line pushed up enough for its position to fall into Allied hands.

After a period in Britain it was decided to send the tank, as a trophy, to Brisbane in June 1919 (aboard the S S Armagh). It took two of the City Council's steamrollers to tow the tank to the Queensland Museum original site.

Mephisto is the only version of the tank still in existence (The one in the German Panzer Museum is in fact a modern replica).

 
The School Plaque The Monument Outside the School

The plaque on the wall of the School commemorates the fact that the school was rebuilt with the aid of funding from the Victorian State and money donated by school children from the State.

The Monument in the parking area at the front of the school traces the rebuilding of the school from the original visit in 1921 through the laying of the foundation stone and on to the inauguration of the new school on ANZAC Day in 1927.

Inside you can see the inscription: N'oublions jamais l'Australie - Let Us Never Forget Australia - in the school hall.

The wood carvings on the pillars in the hall also depict Australian flora and fauna.

Villers-Bretonneux Villers-Bretonneux