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Anzac World War soldiers remembered

April 25, 2015

Events are being held in Turkey, Australia and New Zealand to remember soldiers who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One, a hundred years ago. As many as 120,000 people appeared in the Australian capital.

Australian commemoration ceremony
Image: S. Barbour/Getty Images

Events to mark the centenary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One are being held across the two countries, and in Turkey, on Saturday.

A rally of 120,000 people gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Chief of Army David Morrison said during his address: "They loved and were loved in return, were prepared to fight for their beliefs, were, like us, prey to fears and human despair."

A crowd of 85,000 came to Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance and up to 30,000 people attended the main Sydney dawn service in Martin Place. There were 10,000 people at the dawn service in Darwin.

Up to 20,000 people gathered at the State War Memorial in Adelaide for a dawn service and a march. "In respect of the Gallipoli campaign we also acknowledge the service of our allies and the support of the women of our nursing services," Vietnam War veteran and Anzac Day committee chairman Bill Denny said.

In New Zealand, a dawn service was held for the first time at the newly-opened Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington attended by more than 20,000 people.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae was joined by his Australian counterpart Peter Cosgrove. Mateparae said Anzac Day affirmed "the qualities we prize: courage, compassion and comradeship, qualities which were displayed by our troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula and by our armed forces in subsequent conflicts."

He added that Gallipoli was "the beginning of an eight-month ordeal, an experience which was to be a turning point in the history of this nation".

A further 30,000 people attended the dawn service at Auckland Museum.

Dawn service at Gallipoli

In Turkey, on the Gallipoli peninsula, an estimated 10,000 people met at Anzac Cove for the dawn service to mark 100 years since the first Australian and New Zealand troops came ashore directly into Turkish fire.

A total of 131,000 troops died during the campaign from 1915 to 1916, including 86,000 Turkish soldiers, 25,000 British, 10,000 French, and 10,000 Anzac troops.

It began with a naval assault, followed by months of shelling, sniper fire and sickness but the Allied forces were not able to advance more than a few kilometers inland. After eight months, the assault was abandoned.

jm/bk (AFP, dpa)