Moving ceremonies were held to remember lost troops in Australia, New Zealand and the UK on Anzac Day. The Commonwealth remembrance day falls on April 25 every year. The anniversary of the bloody WWI Gallipoli battle is now a day to remember New Zealand and Australian servicemen who have died in battle.
Anzac Day is a public holiday in New Zealand and Australia and both nations will mark the day with dawn services and a minute’s silence.
Prince William is in New Zealand for Anzac Day which has also been a day to remember those killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
The Duke of Cambridge met with New Zealand leaders for an emotional Anzac Day ceremony just six weeks after the mosque massacres that shook New Zealand.
He attended the dawn service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum before travelling to Christchurch later today to honour the 50 victims of the shooting.
Thousands gathered to pay tribute to lost New Zealand servicemen and war veterans amid heightened security following shooting massacre at Christchurch mosques and deadly suicide bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the dawn service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand.
She said that in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, Anzac Day 2019 should be an even greater uniting force.
Speaking to the thousands present, Prime Minister Ardern said: “Our sense of independence is as strong as our sense of responsibility to each other and not just as nation states but as human beings. That is part of the Anzac legacy.”
Anzac celebrations elsewhere in New Zealand were scaled back amid security fears.
In Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed a dawn service in Townsville, Queensland, where he shared memories of his grandfather, who served in World War Two.
He said: ”Our heroes don’t just belong to the past, they live with us today.”
Dawn services were held on beaches across Australia at the time of the Gallipoli landing.
The UK also remembered Australian and New Zealand troops who fought to aid the Allies in WWI.
Anzac Day is not a public holiday in the UK but it is still commemorated with certain ceremonies.
This morning a 5am memorial service was held at Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park Corner, London.
At 11am wreaths will be laid at the Cenotaph, Whitehall to remember the fallen.
There will be a special Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey at noon.
The High Commissioners for Australia and New Zealand will lay the first wreaths.
Last year Prince Harry laid a wreath at London’s Cenotaph to honour lost Commonwealth servicemen who fought bravely to aide the Allies.
But he is unlikely to attend Anzac Day services this year as the royal baby’s arrival is imminent.
Extended royal family member the Duke of Gloucester took Prince Harry’s place instead.
As the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, he attended the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the New Zealand Memorial, Hyde Park Corner.
He will lay a wreath at the ANZAC memorial at the Cenotaph, later today.
Five fast facts about Anzac Day
- The Anzacs were all volunteers.
- April 25 was the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
- April 25 was officially named Anzac Day in 1916.
- The first dawn service on an Anzac Day was in 1923.
- The term Anzac is protected under Australian law.