Here is a copy and paste from The Guardian as reported.
Then the Frenchman went to the microphone with, it would seem, aggression in his heart and literature in his kitbag, launching himself into the crowd with a line from Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front: “He is entirely alone now with his little life of 19 years, and cries because it leaves him.”
Then he seized the high ground: “Coming here, seeing this centre and tower, looking at the names of the 11,000 Australians who died for France and for freedom, I could not help thinking of the terrible loneliness which these thousands of young Australians must have felt as their young lives were cut short in a foreign country.
“A foreign country. A faraway country. A cold country whose earth had neither the colour nor texture of their native bush. A faraway, foreign country which they defended, inch by inch, in Fromelles in the Nord region, in Bullecourt in Pas-de-Calais and of course here, in Villers-Bretonneux. As if it were their own country.
“And it is their own country. ‘The earth is more important to the soldier than to anybody else,’ continues Erich Maria Remarque, ‘the earth is his only friend, his brother, his mother. He groans out his terror and screams into its silence and safety’. For many young Australians, this earth was their final safe place. For many of them, this earth was the final confidante of a thought or a word intended for a loved one from the other side of the world.”
Somehow he wove in Francois I and the Chevalier Bayard with the hell of the trenches: “The mud, the rats, the lice, the gas, the shellfire, the fallen comrades.”
Men and women near me were crying.
We were gathered on a hill not far from Villers-Bretonneux to celebrate $100m spent on a high-tech temple to the memory of General Sir John Monash on the centenary of his victories in this stretch of France.“Meticulous, wise and dogged,” Philippe called him and ventured the unthinkable at this time and in this place: Monash might have had peers. “This Australian engineer, with his unerring instinct, came to be hailed as one of the best Allied tacticians, on par with France’s Estienne and Britain’s Fuller.”