Westminster Abbey marks ANZAC Day 2021

Sunday, 25th April 2021

Westminster Abbey marks ANZAC Day 2021

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal attended a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark ANZAC Day at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 25th April 2021.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said in his Bidding:

‘One hundred and six years ago, early on the morning of 25th April 1915, soldiers of the newly formed Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, landed at Gallipoli and were immediately plunged into battle. By the end of that first day they had sustained two thousand casualties, either killed or wounded. It was the precursor to months of bitter warfare in increasingly difficult conditions. Today we gather to remember what must never be forgotten. We are also here to honour not just bravery, but deep loyalties and to reflect on the complex history that makes allies and enemies and leads us through war and peace.
We will speak today of national identity and of the ties that bind us to one another. We do that as we digest the experience of a pandemic that has dislocated so much friendship and stretched thin so much international co-operation. We will commit ourselves to a renewed determination to seek peace and to work together for the good of all.
We do this in the Easter season, rejoicing in Christ’s victory over death. We hear again his summons to live in a shared hope and a common celebration of the power of God’s redeeming and reconciling love.
As the flags of different nations are presented in this Abbey church we acknowledge the words inscribed above the altar—‘the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ’. In this house of prayer we keep silence remembering our past and renewing our commitment to our shared future.’

View the ANZAC Day 2021 Order of Service

Listen to the Dean's sermon

Picture gallery


About the service

At the start of the service the flags of New Zealand, Australia, Turkey and the United Kingdom were carried through the Abbey and placed beside the High Altar.

The flags were borne by

  • Warrant Officer Cedric Blundell (New Zealand)
  • Flight Lieutenant Peter Rolph (Australia)
  • Senior Sergeant Major Hasan Yoluç (Turkey)
  • Major Thomas Ogilvy (United Kingdom)

His Excellency the High Commissioner for Australia, the Honourable George Brandis QC, read Zephaniah 3: 14-20; and His Excellency the High Commissioner for New Zealand, Mr Bede Corey, read Luke 4: 16-21.

The Address was given by the Dean.

His Excellency Mr Ümit Yalçın, Ambassador of Turkey to the Court of St James’s, read the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatűrk inscribed on the memorial at ANZAC Cove in the Dardanelles.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by: Eleanor Bassingthwaighte, Ethan Lewis, Lucas Maso, Sarah Kebbell, Oliver Griffiths, Holly Masters, and the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Canon in Residence.

The National Anthems of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand were sung.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

About ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance that commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who served their respective countries.

ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.