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Anzac Day 2022 celebrated in Gallipoli dawn service in Turkey after two years

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Anzac Day 2022 celebrated in Gallipoli dawn service in Turkey after two years

A moving dawn service has been held in Gallipoli, Turkey, following two years of cancelled Anzac Day celebrations because of the pandemic. Today denotes the 107th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings at Anzac Cove.

The service started with a song and a didgeridoo performance. Significant General John Boswell, Chief of Army, delivered the Call to Remembrance on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force.

“At this time, 107 years ago, in ships that covered the ocean off this tiny bay, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders were preparing to land on this rugged coast,” he told those assembled in the cove.

“For all but a few, this was to be their first experience of the horrors of combat. Most were convinced that as one New Zealand soldier wrote in his diary: ‘It will be the greatest days in our lives’.”

The first Commemorative Address was then given by his Excellency Myles Armitage, the Australian ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.

“While the nature and focus of our remembrance of Anzac have changed over the intervening decades, our respect endures for those who fought here,” he said.

“The men who landed at Arabuna on 25 April faced a daunting prospect. Sergeant Hubert Maher of the 3rd Battalion wrote that the country was precipitous, the heat tropical, and weighed down ‘with our kit, the pace was a killer’.”

Australia and New Zealand’s buglers, who played the Last Post at the current year’s services in Gallipoli, told prior of their matching stories.

Australian Army Bugler Isaac White and Raynor Martin from the New Zealand Army both attended for the first time, the two visits were postponed because of COVID-19, and both had great-grandfathers who served at Gallipoli.

Mr. Martin’s 99-year-old grandmother gave him his great-grandfather’s medals to take to Turkey.

“I actually had them blessed at Anzac Cove the other day and played a little sunset for him,” he said.

“That was pretty moving for me. I did shed a wee tear on the Peninsula.”

Mr. White said it was “surreal” to meet someone with a comparable family story.

Coordinators had a short notification for 2022’s commemorations.

They were just authoritatively given the green light by the government toward the beginning of March.

Repatriation Commissioner Don Spinks said: “New Zealanders and Australians expect the opportunity to come here, so all stops were pulled out to make sure we were prepared.”

Numbers were expected to be down at the current year’s Gallipoli service, with around 500 individuals expected, a long way from the 10,000-strong turnout in 2015.

Those responsible for the historic site say they’ve made use of the two-year absence of Australian guests to more readily preserve the location.

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