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In early 1917 Australian soldiers fought two battles at Bullecourt in France. So ferocious were they that Australian soldiers renamed the town ‘The blood tub.’ The first action fought on 11 April was a complete disaster, the second (3 – 17 May) a hollow victory at best. Marred by poor planning and disastrous mechanical failures, the battles resulted in more than 10,000 casualties and over 1,000 Australians taken prisoner. German General Eric Ludendorff later wrote of the Arras campaign, of which the Bullecourt battles were part—‘no doubt exceedingly important strategic objects lay behind the British attack, but I have never been able to discover what they were.’A special commemorative service and public program will be held to mark the centenary of the Battles of Bullecourt on 13 May. An 11:00am wreath laying in the Sanctuary will be followed by a special talk at 12 noon by Bullecourt expert and author Dr David Coombes in the Shrine Education Centre. Visitors are encouraged to visit the exhibition 'The Blood Tub: Australians at Bullecourt 1917', on display in the Shrine's Galleries of Remembrance until October 2017. Bookings are required for talk only.