MOD Anzac Day Cenotaph (Crown Copyright, 2019) [880]

ANZACs Remembered at the Cenotaph

Armed Forces Mark Anzac Day at Cenotaph Service

Representatives of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces have paid tribute to the service and sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand personnel at a Dawn Service and during commemoration ceremonies at the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey in London, April 25.

Held annually on 25 April, Anzac Day also marks the anniversary of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The two countries’ forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and the day soon became a time of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders.

In Australia and New Zealand today, Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).

In the UK, Anzac Day is marked with a traditional Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial on Hyde Park Corner in London. There are also services at the Cenotaph on Whitehall and at Westminster Abbey.

A dawn service was held on the Western Front by an Australian battalion on the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1916, and in Australia dawn services spontaneously took place around the country to commemorate the fallen at Gallipoli in the years following. Over 600 people attended an interdenominational service that started at 6.30 am in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 26 April 1916. However, the dawn service held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1928 lays claim to being the first of a continuous tradition.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster laid a wreath at the Cenotaph during the Anzac Day service, which was also attended by Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter.

Commodore Guy Holthouse AM, Head Australian Defence Staff London, Brigadier Chris Parsons MNZM DSD, Head New Zealand Defence Staff London, and Major General BJ Bathurst CBE laid wreathes at the Anzac Commemoration Dawn Service. The High Commissioners for Australia and New Zealand also laid wreaths at the Cenotaph to commemorate the sacrifices made by the armed forces of their countries.


Source: MOD and additional sources.

Image: Commodore Guy Holthouse AM, Head Australian Defence Staff London Brigadier Chris Parsons MNZM DSD, Head New Zealand Defence Staff London Major General BJ Bathurst CBE lay wreathes at the Anzac Commemoration Dawn Service.