24 April 2017

ANZAC Day ceremonies to be held at CWGC sites

ANZAC Day - 25 April - marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

 

In April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition which set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The ANZAC forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance. British, Canadian, Indian and French troops also landed on the peninsula.

During the following nine months, casualties on all sides mounted until the decision was made to evacuate. The last Allied troops left Gallipoli in January 1916, leaving behind the remains of more than 36,000 of their comrades who are buried or commemorated in the 31 cemeteries and memorials cared for by the CWGC on the Gallipoli Peninsula

Over 100 years on, ANZAC Day is marked with ceremonies and events all over the world, as Australians and New Zealanders remember their fallen from the two world wars and other conflicts. A large number of commemorative events take place at CWGC cemeteries and memorials.

This evening, the famous Menin Gate stone lions will be unveiled at the CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. The lions are being loaned to the Belgian city by the Australian War Memorial for seven months, as part of commemorations marking the centenary of major battles in the Ypres Salient.

Tomorrow, services will be held at CWGC cemeteries and memorials, including Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Buttes New British CemeteryTyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial, and Toronto Avenue Cemetery. Meanwhile, on Thursday there will be a ceremony on the island of Madagascar for the first time in living memory.

For further details on the events taking place, visit http://www.cwgc.org/news-events/news. And keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest photos from the events.

Latest News

Monday 23 April will mark 100 years since the Zeebrugge Raid. One of the most celebrated episodes of the First World War at sea, the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port and prevent the German navy from using it. More than 200 sailors and marines were killed and over 300 wounded. The dead are commemorated by the CWGC at sites in the UK and in Belgium, including Zeebrugge Churchyard which will be visited by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal over the weekend.

Today (18 April) is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, which aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them. We have asked the Commission’s conservation team to tell us about four of CWGC’s impressive, but lesser-known sites from around the world. Which one would you like to visit? Vote in our Twitter Poll.

A burial service was held at the Commission’s New Irish Farm Cemetery this morning for Captain H J I Walker and six unknown soldiers, more than 100 years after their death.