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The Event

In April 1918, the offensive known as the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux was partially controlled from the castle of Tronville. Australian troops who launched the attack were stationed in the village along the limestone hills, as photos from the Australian War Memorial illustrate. Many wounded were treated in the village.  Our cemetery preserves the memory of the unfortunate fate of some of them.

A few decades ago, the local Council honored the dead of 1939-1945, giving their names to the main streets of the village. Today, the village would like to pay tribute to the young men who came in the early twentieth century to fight and sometimes die, miles away from home.
On Sunday 22 April 2018, Blangy-Tronville will remember them and their ideal of freedom.

The town will baptize its school “Arthur Clifford Stribling”, private 2731, who died 25 April 1918 and who is buried in the local cemetery. On 22 of April 2018, a number of activities will take place, honouring Australia.



Blangy in 1918

At the beginning of the war, Blangy-Tronville had about 320 inhabitants and many more sheep and ducks. Peatlands provided the fuel, the ponds were stocked with fish, sheep grazed on the hillside.


In September 1914, German troops passed through the village to take Amiens. Shortly after, they came back in the other direction.
Amiens was of great strategic importance. Its rail link to Paris, proximity to the coast make it an important logistical point, particularly in July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. Blangy-Tronville was behind the front line until the end of the war.  
In 1916, a canon rail was stationed there.

In 1918, during operation Michael, the Germans launched their last divisions hoping to take Amiens, and thus cut off this logistical axis.

German map showing the location of the Australians (24 June 1918):
Carte allemande
Source : http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca

English Map locating Blangy-Tronville in the system set up to defend Amiens:
Carte Anglaise
Source : http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca

They managed to take the town of Villers-Bretonneux, but faced irreducible Australian troops. After a brief decline, they counter attacked. The 13th and 15th brigades stationed in Blangy-Tronville left to launch an attack on the coast upon the hillside, which is currently the Australian Memorial of Villers-Bretonneux.
The Tronville castle served as the headquarters for these brigades.


Blangy today

Tronville Castle

Le Chateau de Tronville

In the Communal Cemetery, there are about 40 Commonwealth graves, 16 of which are Australian soldiers.
On 11 November each year, the local council and the villagers lay flowers at the foot of the Sacrifice Cross.


Arthur Clifford STRIBLING

AC StriblingPrivate Arthur Clifford Stribling embodies the diggers of 1918; young men, often from small villages, brave, somewhat rebels but with an extraordinary sense of camaraderie and mutual support.

Born in 1890 in Tarlee , a small agricultural village about fifty kilometers from Adelaide, he had five sisters and a brother. This Baptist farmer measured 1m73 and weighed 72 kg, dark haired with blue eyes signed up in July 1916.

After passing through Britain, where he had health problems, he arrived in France at Le Havre in July 1917. He was assigned to the 50th Battalion Infantry.

He was wounded in combat on 25 April 1918 and despite care from the24th Field Ambulance, he died of his leg injuries a few hours later.  He was buried on 3 August 1918 in the cemetery of Blangy-Tronville.

His personal belongings, claimed by his cousin, were lost in the sinking of Barunga, the ship that was transporting them to Australia.  Only a bible, on board another vessel was returned to the mother of AC Stribling.

The Victory Medal and British War Medal are awarded to the father of AC Stribling in 1921.

Why Arthur Clifford STRIBLING ?

Arthur Clifford Stribling was a soldier like many others. His fate unfortunately was not extraordinary. He was not known for any special feat of arms: he fought and died in a country he did not know. But among the 16 Australian soldiers buried in the cemetery of Blangy-Tronville, he is the one who died on 25 April, Anzac Day. This day in Australian society is as important as the national holiday.
To represent his comrades and his country, "Cliff" Stribling * was therefore a doubly symbolic choice.

The working group which was formed at the end of the first public meeting took the military record of AC Stribling and restored his family tree. AC Stribling was not married and had no children at the time of his death.  It was necessary to expand the tree to find the collateral descendants. Very quickly we found "indirect" descendants, some of whom did not know each other.

* Cliff was how he was known to his family


A.C. Stribling appears in red. The people with whom we are currently in contact have their name outlined.

Press review, in Australia


Tarlee remembers

Nov. 18, 2015

TARLEE Primary School students and staff joined local residents at the annual Remembrance Day service in Tarlee last week.
Held at the Tarlee war memorial, the occasion had more significance than usual, as over the past 12 months, residents of Blangy-Tronville in France have asked family members of local soldier Arthur Clifford Stribling for permission to name their elementary school after him.
Clifford, as he was known by his family, enlisted from Tarlee in World War One and died as a result of injuries he received on a nearby battleground in France.
Many descendants of the Stribling family have agreed to the request, which is planned to happen on the centenary of the World War One armistice in 2018.
Family members from Australia have an open invitation to attend the occasion.
These family members have had regular contact with the people of Blangy-Tronville, but have yet to ascertain how they came to pick Clifford out of the thousands killed in the area during that war.

John Tayler



France honours Tarlee soldier

Oct. 8, 2015

A TARLEE man who died while serving in the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion during World War I will be honoured in France as part of WWI centenary commemorations.
Private Arthur ‘Clifford’ Stribling died as a result of injuries received while on the Western Front near to Blangy-Tronville, France, on April 25, 1918.

Nearly 100 years on and a committee in Blangy-Tronville has plans to rename its local elementary school, the “Arthur Stribling School” at a ceremony to be held on April 22, 2018.
The renaming will commemorate the centenary of the war, as well as the memory of the huge number of Australians who fought and lost their lives in that area of the conflict.

With the help of the Clare History Centre, here in SA, the committee has been able to track down Stribling’s living relatives, who remain in Tarlee, to ask their permission on the renaming and to also invite them to the ceremony.
While Stribling was buried in a French cemetery, his name appears on the Tarlee war memorial statue.

Stribling Road, in Stockport, is believed to be named after Stribling’s cousin D. L. (Laurie) Stribling, who was a councillor and chairman of the District Council of Riverton for many years, however many of the Stribling relatives lived close to this road.



Tarlee soldier to be honoured in France

Sept. 25, 2015, 2:28 p.m.

Recently the Clare History Centre received a request from a person located in Blangy-Tronville, near Villers-Bretonneux, France, who was trying to locate a family member called Stribling, who lived in the Tarlee/Stockport area of the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council. 
Through the marvel of the internet they identified a Stribling Road in the area, and wished to locate relatives of Arthur Clifford Stribling. 

Serving in the AIF during the first World War, Clifford, as he was remembered by his family, died as a result of injuries received while on the Western Front near to Blangy-Tronville, on 25 April 1918, and is buried in their cemetery. 
His name appears on Tarlee War Memorial Statue as having enlisted from Tarlee and was one who paid the Supreme Sacrifice. 
A committee in Blangy-Tronville is planning to commemorate the centenary of the war, and in particular the memory of the huge number of Australians who fought and lost their lives in that area of the conflict.
Although one in a family of seven children, the only one to marry and to have children was the youngest daughter, Jean, who married a next door neighbour, Samuel Willis. 
They had four children and have a son, Bert, who works the farm with his son's, John and Keith Willis. Their grand children, Stanley Altus and Jean Spehr (nee Altus), also live in the Tarlee area.
The committee are seeking permission from the family to rename their Elementary (Primary) School, the “Arthur Stribling School” at a ceremony to be held 22 April 2018. 
Members of the Stribling family have been invited to attend, and some are already showing interest in being there for the occasion. 
The feeling is that it would be more appropriate for it to be called the Clifford Stribling School, if that does not conflict with the name as recorded in France.
It is thought that Stribling Road was named after Clifford’s cousin, D L (Laurie) Stribling, who was a Councillor and Chairman of the District Council of Riverton for many years, but all the families lived close to this road.

John, Bert, and Keith Willis with Jean Spehr at the Tarlee Monument which displays Clifford Stribling’s name as one who paid the Supreme Sacrifice in World War one.



Press Review, in France

Courrier Picard, Jan. 13, 2016

Courrier Picard

JDA n°775, 4th november 2015

JDA 775

An extract from the JDA (municipal bulletin of Amiens and surrounding villages) issue number 775, 4th-11th November 2015

Blangy-Tronville, the Austral Link (the Australian)

The village, which sheltered Australian troops before the attack on Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, prepares first class commemorations.

25th April 1918. Australian forces put an end to the Germans’ progress toward Amiens as they recaptured Villers-Bretonneux. Exactly three years after the Gallipoli massacre, in which 8000 diggers were killed just after landing, this victory made Villers-Bretonneux a well-known place of remembrance where thousands of Australians come and spend some moments in silence every year. A lot less is known about the role of Blangy-Tronville. Located east of Amiens, eight kilometres from the battlefield, this is where the troops were stationed before the battle, on the slope of the hill that leads to the “queue-de-vache” pond. The attack was partly commanded from the Tronville castle, a XVIIth century mansion off the village. The wounded were also transported to the village.

A meeting on 22nd April 2018

Shot on the 25th April 1918, Arthur Clifford Stribling, aged 28, did not survive. He is one of sixteen other Australians buried at the village cemetery.  The school is soon to bear his name. The “renaming” of the school will be one of the highlights organized by Blangy-Tronville on the 22nd April 2018 to commemorate the hundred year anniversary of the battle. “Private Stribling did not have the time to have children. But we managed to get in touch with his grand-nephews, hoping that they will attend the ceremony”, says Sylvain Halgand, deputy-mayor and a member of the committee in charge of the event. It is hoped a class of secondary school Australian students will also attend. A pick nick in the castle grounds, a photo exhibition, a concert at the church and a competition for best decorated gardens in the theme of Australia are also planned on that day. “We expect families to participate” says Councillor Halgand confidently. In the meantime, they will be invited to learn more about World War One with a series of visits and lectures. The Australian past of Blangy-Tronville has never been so present.
(Photo caption) The Tronville Castle was used as headquarters by the 13th brigade AIF commanded by General Glasgow (on the left).

Public meeting on 29th November at 10am, at the gym hall of Blangy-Tronville.

Written by Antoine Caux, translated by Alain Corbière.

JDA n°824, 24th january 2017

JDA 775

An extract from the JDA (municipal bulletin of Amiens and surrounding villages) issue number 824, 24th January 2017

My Community

Blangy on the Front

Blangy Tronville organizes a conference on Australian soldiers before the arrival in 2018 of the descendants of one of them, buried in the village.

Blangy-Tronville 552 inhabitants.  And how many people in the Metropole are able to situate it?  It is however known on the other side of the globe.  Notably by the family of Arthur Clifford Stribling.  An Australian soldier who came from Tarlee.  Even smaller than Blangy, where his body is buried with 15 other “diggers”.  The village is mobilized to commemorate his story.  The story of a community where the gardens of today were formerly trenches.  Where Australian troops were stationed.  Where the the battle of Villers Bretoneux was prepared and which stopped the Germans en route to Amiens in 1918.  It was on this date that Arthur Clifford Stribling was going to die in the village.
One hundred years later, conferences, visits and hikes tracing the war, serve to prepare the festivities of 2018.  The community will welcome the Australian Ambassador to France, Tarlee pupils and the descendants of the family of Soldier Stribling, who’s name will be given to the local school.  “We have more inhabitants who would like to host Australian guests that Australians who need hosting.” thanks Sylvain Halgand who launched the appeal.

The Australians during the Great War, conference 28 January, 20.30 at the church. Free Entrance.

Project timeline

28th January 2017

Conference by M. Bresson focusing on the role of the Australians during the war.

January 2017

We shot a little video

January 2017

The cycling club "Chés Rouleux de Blangy" launch their 2017 challenge.

10th december 2016

Conference by M. Brunet on the bombing over Amiens during the war, free of charge conference.

4th november 2016

Beginning of the English language course for some of the hosting families

17th october 2016

Meeting at the Australian Ambassy in Paris to prepare the official participation of Australian officials at our 2018 commemoration.

15 octobre 2016

Public meeting to present the project and its development. We also presented the association (45 people are members so far) in the presence of regional officials.

September 2016

We prepared the English language course. We distributed a new bulletin in mail boxes.

July 2016

We created an association to help finance and manage our project. The inhabitants are invited to join in.The whole population is to be involved in the project, not only the members of the association. We also created a Facebook page, in addition to the website of our village.

16th June 2016

We sent a questionnaire to potential host familie, to see how many people could be accommodated. Even more answers than to the first poll. 25 households proposed to host Australian visitors and to show them around the region.

11th June 2016

Public meeting to present the project, more specifically targetting potential host families.

June 2016

We planned to invite a delegation from the Tarlee School. The local choir "Les Cordulies" was invited to sing the Australian national anthem during the renaming of the school ceremony.

24th May 2016

The Australian Ambassador wrote back to accept our invitation. Excellent news, very encouraging.

May 2016

The graphic novel, inspired by the life of Private Stribling, is under way, written and drawn by Tristan Robert. English translation by Aisling Achoun and Alain Corbière

26th April 2016, feedback on poll (following the first bulletin) :

Congratulation to you all ! 20 households answered our questionaire favourably as regards accommodating the siblings of Private Stribling, as well as the Tarlee school group. We plan a meeting with the volunteers and the committee members so as to look into further details and send an official invitation to Australian education authorities. The children in question are likely to be between 12 and 14 years old.

Answers to the decorated house contest were not so enthusiastic. We'll have to talk it over.

24/25th April 2016

Some inhabitants of Blangy-Tronville attended the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux memorial. Cold but dry night. We talked to Mr S. Brady, the Australian ambassador. We had sent him the whole file concerning our project the week before.

Anzac day 2016
Anzac Day 2016Anzac Day 2016
Anzac day 2016Anzac Day 2016

at the same time to Tarlee...

Tarlee Anzac Day 2016Tarlee Anzac day 2016

14th march 2016

The first information leaflets were distributed to the village letterboxes.
They included a poll to estimate our capacity to accommodate Australian families and schoolchildren in April 2018.

Download bulletin (in french)

We got in touch with school officials in Tarlee, thanks to Mr. Andrew Lean, and some local Australian families are willing to send their children over to the 2018 ceremonies.

30th january 2016

Committee members met on Saturday afternoon to push the project further.
After the meeting, the project presentation document was finally completed (without budgetary information), and is now being translated into English. We have a clearer idea of logistical needs and ressources.
An information bulletin presenting two aspects of the programme was written out, in order to be distributed to the inhabitants of the village. It was given to the Saint Rémy School students for its design and lay-out.

We have already received favourable replies from the relatives of Private Stribling. Some said they were willing to attend our ceremonies in 2018. Besides the tribute that we will pay to their ancestor, and to all of his comrades who were killed in France, they are also touched by the idea of a German-French concert.

29 November 2015

This general meeting allowed the group to present the project to about fifty participants, mostly new.  Feedback was excellent. Everyone began to imagine the warm, friendly but also festive atmosphere of 22 April 2018. It is exciting to learn that more people would like to get involved.Andrew Lean

Download the invitation flyer to this meeting which was distributed via letter box to everyone in the village.

21 November 2015

Mr Andrew Lean, nephew of our first contact from Tarlee, Mr Tayler, informed us that he visited A.C. Stribling’s grave on 19 September and left a small cross of remembrance.

18 November 2015

A local Australian newspaper stated that this year's Remembrance Day took on a special resonance in Tarlee. The village of Blangy-Tronville wants to honor, in a special way, the memory of the Australian soldiers who died in France. For that, a boy from Tarlee was selected. His name will be given to the primary school in Blangy-Tronville on 22 April 2018 during a day of remembrance.

10 October 2015

The project is presented for the first time to representatives from “Amiens Metropole”. They are happy with the project as it is in line with what will take place in Amiens to celebrate the 1914-1918 centenary.

8 October 2015

A second Austalian Journal talks about the Blangy-Tronville project

25 September 2015

First article in the Australian regional press.

15 September 2015

Presentation of the project to the 1st year BTS Communication students from Lycée Saint-Rémi in Amiens.

4 September 2015

First response, following an email sent to a local historical association in the Tarlee region. An 80 year old man answered. He knew Clifford Striblings sisters.

30 August 2015

Working group meeting. Started outlining the project. The family tree and research work began. Research for quotes based on the provisional agenda. A budget was set out. Research for historians etc.

15 March 2015

Download the presentation given at this meeting (powerpoint file)

Saint-Rémi Secondary School, Amiens

The BTS Communication class (first year 2015 - 2016) will accompany us on the communication aspects of the project for two years.  The preparation of the commemorations is an exciting project for students. The project was presented to the class by Mr. Halgand. Then, the students worked on the design of the "flyer" to invite people to participate in the meeting of 29 November 2015.
The work done by the students is marked by their teachers.