Wednesday’s Anzac Day commemoration marks the 103rd anniversary of the first major military operations fought by Australia and New Zealand along the beaches of Gallipoli. The “ANZAC Legend,” is inspired by that bloody campaign and has become an important part of the identity of both nations.
The ANZAC day commemorations have been held since 1916. The Australian War Memorial has since continued this tradition, commemorating not just the ANZACs but also the courage and sacrifice of all Australian servicemen and women during periods of war and peace. Australian War Memorial assistant director Anne Bennie said it was predicted up to “50,000 people would come to the dawn service, with as many as 10,000 at the national service later in the morning.”
This year is the concluding year of the centenary of World War 1, images of the Australian servicemen and servicewomen, depicting a variety of actions and battles across the history of Australia’s Military Service, will be projected each evening on to the War Memorials façade from Monday 23rd April unto the commencement of the Dawn Service at 5:30 AM.
This year’s Dawn Service will be delivered by retired Col. Susan Nehaus who served in the regular army and army reserve, with deployments to Cambodia, Bougainville and Afghanistan, over a career spanning 20 years. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association hosts a ceremony at 6.30 am at Mount Ainslie to remember indigenous Australians who have served since 1901.
At a ticketed event, guests will hear from the Memorial’s senior historian Dr Aaron Pegram discussing the second battle of Villes-Breton-neux at a breakfast eent held in ANZAC hall.
Finally, the National Ceremony, which includes the RSL’s ANZAC Day Veterans’ March at 10:30 AM will include the formal commemorative address from the incoming governor of WA and Former Opposition leader Kim Beazley with one of the last surviving members of the legendary Rats of Tobruk, 97-year-old Bob Semple, to give a special address. The “rats” were a group of Allied troops who took their name from what German propagandists intended to be an insult about the underground tunnels they dug during the famous World War II Siege of Tobruk. Unfazed by the slur, the Allies turned it into a badge of honour. “[The Rats of Tobruk] will all be gone soon, so to have Bob speak almost a generation on from his service is a real privilege,” Ms Bennie said.
The Last Post Ceremony is at 4:55 PM and will conclude the day’s commemorations.
Planning on attending Anzac Day ceremonies? Transport Canberra, together with the Australian War Memorial, will be providing FREE transport to and from the Dawn Service and the National Ceremony on Wednesday, 25 April 2018. For further information click here