By Simon Kleinig, Deputy President — London Legacy
ANZAC DAY – 25 April – is always a big day for Australians and New Zealanders in London. For many of us, it’s a nice reminder of home and what it really means to be an Aussie or a Kiwi, whilst the rest of London goes about another busy day.
In the grey light of dawn at Hyde Park Corner thousands of us will stand near the New Zealand Memorial (it’s the Kiwis turn this year) at 5am for a few quiet moments of reflection and contemplation. We’ll be thinking of those sacrifices made by earlier generations so that we can enjoy the many freedoms we do today. You can play your part by making a small donation towards a Legacy pin to help support Aussie war widows in the UK. And don’t forget to wear your sprig of rosemary as a mark of respect and remembrance on Anzac Day.
After the Dawn Service many people grab a coffee or tuck into a good breakfast. The Intercontinental Hotel on Piccadilly (adjacent to the NZ Memorial) puts on a full Anzac breakfast at half price for all those attending the Dawn Service. Then, at 9.30am the Gallipoli Association holds a service at its memorial in the Crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral. Many expats also move on to the wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph at 11am. This is a big event and a good crowd always turns out in Whitehall. It always feels like a breath from home to see Aussie slouch hats on parade. Finally, a special Anzac Day service is held each year in Westminster Abbey at midday. But don’t be disappointed – you’ll need to reserve tickets for both the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey through AnzacDayLondon.com
If you have time on your hands and understand the aims of Legacy why not volunteer to help staff our office for a few hours each month and assist generally? You’ll be working with other Aussies and really helping a good cause. London Legacy is also looking for people to help sell pins on Anzac Day. If you can help please contact President Lindsay Birrell at LondonLegacy.org.uk