The Anzac Day dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux won’t be held this year, with the government moving the time back to 10am, The Australian reports.
The dawn service has been held only since 2008, when the 90th anniversary of World War I was marked.
The move back to the previous format, with the 10am service, means it is unlikely to be telecast in Australia.
Tour operators were informed last month in an email from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which said the decision had been taken after consultations with local governments in the towns of Villers-Bretonneux, Corbie and Fouilloy.
“This decision makes a complete mockery of Australia’s and New Zealand’s unique dawn service,” retired lieutenant colonel Paul Murphy told the paper.
“(It’s) a tradition that defines Anzac Day as a day of remembrance. The Western Front is where we took our greatest losses. It is home to our largest overseas memorial. Yet DVA plans to devalue it. Why?”
The move comes after the Sir John Monash Centre, a museum and interpretive centre, was opened last April at a cost of $99 million.