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A Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark ANZAC Day

Monday, 26th April 2010

A Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark ANZAC Day

Australians and New Zealanders packed Westminster Abbey on Sunday 25th April 2010 for the annual ANZAC Day service, which was attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, representing Her Majesty The Queen.

In his bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:

The landing of Allied forces at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 led to one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. Australian and New Zealand forces joined together for the first time and a new word entered our language: ANZAC. Remembering that so many died, we honour the bravery and determination of the men at Gallipoli.

The Dean also gave the Address.

HE John Dauth LVO, High Commissioner for Australia, read 2 Kings 6: 8, 15-23. HE Derek Leask, High Commissioner for New Zealand, read Matthew 5: 38-48. HE Yigit Alpogan, the Turkish Ambassador, read the words of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, inscribed on the memorial at ANZAC Cove in the Dardanelles.

Prayers were led by Chaplain Wayne Toleafoa RNZN, Principal Chaplain to the New Zealand Defence Force.

During the service the flags of Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United Kingdom were carried through the church and placed in the Sacrarium.

The High Commissioners for Australia and New Zealand laid wreaths at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of Choristers. The organ was played by Robert Quinney, Sub-Organist. James McVinnie, Assistant Organist, played before the service. The Fanfare team of the Band of the Blues and Royals was directed by Trumpet Major Grant Sewell-Jones.

It is now 95 years since the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25th April 1915. In the heroic campaign that followed, the casualties on both sides were heavy. Of the Allied forces – from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Newfoundland and India – some 50,000 lost their lives. The total number of casualties, including those wounded or evacuated for sickness, was some 250,000. The Turkish forces lost over 86,000 and also sustained a higher number of wounded.

The memorial at ANZAC Cove reads:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives,
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us here; they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers
Who sent their sons to faraway countries,
Wipe away your tears;
Your sons are now lying in our bosom, and are in peace,
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well.

See also

The Order of Service (PDF, 430 KB)

The Address

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I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

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