'This Land Is Sacred': Families Gather At Villers-Bretonneux

One hundred years ago, Andy Francis' grandfather served at the tiny French town of Villers-Bretonneux.

His job was to write letters to inform families when soldiers died.

Now, Francis sings songs of remembrance in front of their names. 

"You can almost put yourself back in that position and try to understand what it was like," he told 10 News First.

Chorister Andy Harris. Image: 10 News First

More than 10,000 Australian soldiers died in the battlefields at Villers-Brettonneux. Now, when thousands gather at Australia's main memorial on the Western Front on Sunday, it will be to honour their sacrifice.

"I'd say thank you. Thank you for the brave service that you did and thank you for the freedom that we enjoy today," said war descendant Wayne Leslie.

READ MORE: The 100-Year-Old War Veteran Whose Fallen Mates Have Never Left Him

Thousands of Australians are arriving in Villiers-Brettenaux to be there for Sunday's special Armistice Centenary. Image: 10 News First

Rehearsals are underway for this year's Remembrance Day that will mark 100 years since the armistice was signed, bringing an end to The Great War.

After four years of fighting, one of the world's most devastating conflicts was finally over.

READ MORE: Why There's A Map Of Australia On This English Hillside

READ MORE: Two Unknown Australian Soldiers Laid To Rest In Belgium

"This piece of land here, it's sacred," said Bruce Cruickshank, who will be honouring his grandfather who served in World War One.

"The Australians fought to save all these little country towns which not only saved the towns but probably saved the country," he told 10 News First.

Leith Cruickshank, 84, wanted to walk in his father's footsteps. Image: 10 News First

Leith Cruickshank, 84, too, wanted to walk in his father's footsteps -- by wearing his service hat.

"Well I won't be able to do it in another 84 years," he told 10 News First.

"This is my last chance."

Contact the authors eammon.atkinson@networkten.com.au / ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au