Tuesday, 25th April 2006
On Tuesday 25th April, the annual Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey was attended by His Excellency The High Commissioner for Australia, His Excellency The High Commissioner for New Zealand, the Right Honourable The Minister of Foreign Affairs for New Zealand, and His Excellency The Ambassador for Turkey.
The service was presided over by the Reverend Robert Wright, Sub-Dean and Canon of Westminster.
It is now over 90 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 Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Newfoundland, and India - some 50,000 lost their lives. The total number of casualties on the Allied side at Gallipoli, including those wounded or evacuated for sickness, was some 250,000. The Turkish forces lost 86,692 killed, and also sustained a high number of wounded.
Australians and New Zealand forces fought for the first time under a united command as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, or more famously the ANZACs. In both countries, ANZAC Day, 25th April, not only commemorates those first landings at Gallipoli but also all the Australians and New Zealanders who have given their lives in the service of their countries.