(Australian Associated Press)
How the Anzacs were commemorated around the world
Some 600 people paid their respects at a dawn service on Turkish shores where the Anzacs landed 102 years ago. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop led tributes to the 11,400 Australians and New Zealanders who died and 24,100 wounded during the disastrous eight-month campaign.
“Here the reality of war was shown to us. Here these men created a legend. But it was one created at great cost and great loss.” – Tim Barrett, Australian Chief of Navy Vice Admiral.
About 2000 people attended the dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux, marking the 99th anniversary of the battle in which Australian soldiers helped recapture the town after a German tank attack.
Nearly 77,000 Australians were killed on the Western Front in 1917 alone.
“You start to get that sense of the enormity of what happened and the big role that Australia and New Zealand played relative to their size of population.” – Brisbane physiotherapist, Megan Anderson, who was visiting her great-uncle’s grave.
A pair of stone lions were returned from Canberra to the city of Ieper (Ypres). Thousands of Anzacs would have passed the statues at Menin Gate on their way to the Western Front, where more than 295,000 Australian troops fought to push back the German army.
“They will remind us of the price paid by so many during the battles for Ieper, Polygon Wood and the Wijtschate-Mesen ridge.” – Brendan Nelson, Australian War Memorial Director.
This year marked the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign and the Battle of Milne Bay in WWII. Opposition leader Bill Shorten and wife Chloe were at the Bomana War Cemetery near Port Moresby which holds 4000 graves, mostly Australians’.
Australian troops played a pivotal role in halting the Japanese advance in PNG, after Singapore fell and northern Australia was bombed.
“They were courageous and enduring in some of the worst conditions warfare can demand. Many would fall here in the jungle, away from the wide brown land they loved, but were destined never to see again.” – Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General.
Dozens of services were held around the country with thousands gathering at Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, including members of the Turkish community.
Almost 100,000 New Zealanders – just under 10 per cent of the country’s population – served overseas in WWI. More than 18,000 died, while 60,000 were wounded.
“Words can’t describe what this day means to me and my family. I wish every day I had the chance to talk with him.” – Christopher Hawkins, the grandson of Billy, a member of the 28th Maori Battalion who served in Italy and Egypt during WWII.
Wreaths were laid during a religious gathering at Hyde Park Corner where Antipodeans honoured former and current soldiers. The Duke of York, who served in the Falklands War, was one to pay his respects.
“We remember the sacrifice and courage of troops from Australia and New Zealand. Britain is proud to have served alongside our Anzac allies in conflicts from the fields of Flanders to our modern day battle against Daesh.” – Sir Michael Fallon, British Defence Secretary.