ANZAC Day Dawn Service Set For April 25

April 21, 2014

The national day of remembrance for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps [ANZAC] is approaching, with services set to take place on the morning of April 25, 2014.

A spokesperson said, “Traditionally, the day commemorates the ill-fated dawn landing of troops at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915, as part of a military campaign to open channels and capture Constantinople, an ally of Germany.

“Now, the day serves to acknowledge all ANZACs who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. Australians and New Zealanders across the world meet at dawn each year for a remembrance service to honour this special occasion.”

“This year’s ANZAC Day dawn service is set to be held promptly at 6.20am on April 25, 2014 at The Cenotaph on Front Street in Hamilton. For more information, please contact jane.chapman1@gmail.com.”

Regarding the history of ANZAC Day, the Australian War Memorial website says, “When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 13 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world.”

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“In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople [now Istanbul in Turkey], the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on April 25, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.

“Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

“Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.”

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