THOUSANDS of Australians and New Zealanders are expected to gather at services across London on Thursday 25 April 2013 to commemorate Anzac Day.
Anzac Day commemorations in London include the dawn service at Hyde Park Corner, a wreath-laying parade and ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall and a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.
See Anzac Day in London 2013: What’s on
These services will honour of the men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who died during the landings at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles, and the ongoing sacrifice of Australian soldiers who continue to fight for our country.
“Anzac Day is a day when we honour those that fought and died for our countries,” said Australian High Commissioner Mike Rann.
“It is a time to reflect upon the bravery and camaraderie that our diggers showed at Gallipoli. It was a conflict that helped define our national identities and enshrined a bond between Australia and New Zealand that will never be broken.”
His Excellency told Australian Times it was important for Australians in London to pay tribute to Australian and New Zealand soldiers on Anzac Day.
“The Australian War Memorial is a special part of Australia in the middle of London and the Anzac Dawn Service is an important, if sombre, occasion for the Australia and New Zealand ex-pat communities to come together and remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Mr Rann.
“I’d like to encourage Australians living in the UK to attend next week’s dawn service at the Australian War Memorial.”
The Australian Deputy Liberal Party Leader and Opposition Foreign Affairs spokesperson the Honourable Julie Bishop will be attending the dawn service and will lay a wreath.
Ever since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli, Turkey 98 years ago in an ultimately unsuccessful WW1 campaign, both countries have continuously held commemorations for the fallen.
Anzac Day commemorations have a long history in London, including a street march of 2,000 soldiers in 1916. The traditional dawn service is held on alternating years at each country’s memorial, located diagonally opposite each other at Hyde Park Corner, with wreath-laying each year at both. This year, the commemorations will take place at the Australian War Memorial with wreaths laid at the New Zealand Memorial at the conclusion of the service.
New Zealand High Commissioner Lockwood Smith said “As the centenary of WW1 get closer, so too does the significance of Anzac Day. Remembering the ANZACs and indeed all our veterans is as important today as it was almost 100 years ago.
“The bravery, leadership and sacrifice of our servicemen and women should never be forgotten.”