A very special Anzac Day service at London’s Westminster Abbey
By Paul Judge
Getting my act together for Anzac Day this year, I applied a few months in advance and was lucky enough to receive a ticket to the service at Westminster Abbey.
For me, this had a dual advantage as I got to pay my respects for Anzac Day plus was able to attend a service in the Abbey.
The Australian and New Zealand flags were marched down the aisle along with the Turkish flag in honour of the reconciliation between the countries. It was very moving to hear the famous speech given by Turkish President Kemal Ataturk in 1934 as part of the service: “You the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well”.
For me, this is one of the most important things of Anzac Day. Those young men lost far away are now at peace; we will always remember them and what they sacrificed.
Read more about Anzac Day in London
Anzac Day in Manchester
By Kristy Kenny
An informal Anzac Day service was held at the Walkabout in Manchester for Australians in the area to pay their respects.
Around 20 people turned up for the midday service which included a short speech, Anzac fact sheet, Two-Up and the traditional Collingwood versus Essendon AFL match on the big screen.
The service was organised by the Manchester Mosquito’s Australia Rules Football Club.
“We wanted to host a gathering where Aussies could pay their respects to the ANZACs whilst watching one of the biggest rivalries in the AFL. It’s a small piece of home away from home,” said club president Brendan Edwards who also gave a short speech on the day.
There were no other Anzac Day activities arranged in Manchester, and surprisingly, the Australian and New Zealand community there is few.
A small corner of the UK that will be forever ANZAC
By Chris Brannan
Codford, Wiltshire – not far from Stonehenge. More than 50 locals and a handful of Australians and Kiwis remembered ANZAC Day on 25 April. There was a dawn service in the cemetery followed by a hearty breakfast in the village hall. 66 New Zealand and 31 Australian WWI soldiers lie in the ANZAC cemetery here, a special place that was once a training camp and hospital site.
The ANZACs played a big role in the history of the village and that’s maintained in village life today. All the locals were at the dawn service or at the village hall preparing the breakfast, anyone failing to attend certainly heard the 7am bag-pipe-led parade from one to the other. Codford takes ANZAC to heart, and they’d love more Australians & New Zealanders to share it.
Also read: Anzac Day services in Australia and around the world