His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester attended the annual Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark ANZAC Day at Westminster Abbey on Friday 25th April 2014.
In his bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘The landing of allied forces at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 led to one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. Australian and New Zealand forces joined together for the first time, and a new word entered the language: ANZAC. Remembering that so many died, we honour the bravery and determination of the men at Gallipoli.
‘The memory of what became known as The Great War is with us as a warning and an encouragement. We are warned that war involves suffering and death; we are encouraged by the spirit of national pride shown by the soldiers we remember this ANZAC Day.
‘As the Union Flag and the flags of Australia and New Zealand are presented at the High Altar with the flag of Turkey in a sign of the reconciliation of old enemies, let us renew our own commitment to the causes of justice and peace throughout the world.’
The Address was given by the Dean of Westminster.
His Excellency The Right Honourable Sir Lockwood Smith, High Commissioner for New Zealand, read Micah 4: 1-5 and His Excellency The Honourable Mike Rann, High Commissioner for Australia, read St John 15: 9-17.
His Excellency Ahmet Unal Cevikoz, the Turkish Ambassador, read the words of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, inscribed on the memorial at ANZAC Cove in the Dardanelles.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Ralph Godsall, Minor Canon of Westminster, and said by: Tiana Davies-Ngati Maniapoto, Rereahu, Mackenzie Colver, Georgia Lewis, Liam Conroy, Bryahna Barns, Seonaid Mcdonald, Helena Olney, Gabrielle Donnelly and the Venerable Dr Jane Hedges, Canon in Residence.
During the service the flags of New Zealand, Australia, Turkey and the United Kingdom were carried through the church and placed in the Sacrarium. The flags were borne by Lieutenant Philip Davies (New Zealand), Warrant Officer II Jason Watkins (Australia), Warrant Officer II Halil Yildiz (Turkey) and Warrant Officer II (Company Sergeant Major) Samuel Brooks, Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards (United Kingdom).
The High Commissioners for Australia and New Zealand laid wreaths at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The wreaths were presented to the High Commissioners by Hannah Naylor and Lara Jordan young citizens of New Zealand and Australia
The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist. Martin Ford, Assistant Organist, played before the service. The choir, concert band and string ensemble of St Catherine’s School, Waverley, New South Wales, Australia, also played.
The Fanfare Trumpeters from the Band of the Grenadier Guards, directed by Major Kevin Davies, Director of Music, played a Brass Fanfare.
It is now 99 years since the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25th April 1915. In the heroic campaign that followed, the casualties on both sides were heavy. Of the Allied forces – from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Newfoundland and India – some 50,000 lost their lives. The total number of casualties, including those wounded or evacuated for sickness, was some 250,000. The Turkish forces lost over 86,000 and also sustained a higher number of wounded.
The memorial at ANZAC Cove reads:
‘Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives,
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us here;
they lie side by side Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers
Who sent their sons to faraway countries,
Wipe away your tears;
Your sons are now lying in our bosom,
and are in peace,
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well.’
The Order of Service (PDF, 749 KB)