ANZAC Day

Dardenelles 1915This afternoon I attended an Anzac Day service at St. Mary’s, Hadleigh to commemorate the 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.
Originally 25th April every year was to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The Gallipoli Campaign also took the lives of fifteen Hadleigh soldiers which added to the poignancy of the occasion. The idea of the campaign was to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula and  open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The Allied forces landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. In 1934, Kemal Atatürk delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields.
“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 where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away 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”.

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