News National Anzac Day 2018: How the world commemorated our fallen soldiers

Anzac Day 2018: How the world commemorated our fallen soldiers

The Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Photo: AAP
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Tens of thousands of Australians have united at various dawn services and marches across the nation’s capital cities to salute current and ex-serving military personnel.

The New Daily has captured some of the memorable moments in Australia, Britain, France and New Zealand as they mobilised on the 103rd anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli to remember the fallen Anzacs and commemorate their brave service.

Malcolm Turnbull with wife Lucy Turnbull and Prime Minister of France Edouard Philippe at the war cemetery at Villers-Bretonneux. Photo: AAP

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined French counterpart Edouard Philippe to open the Sir John Monash Centre, a new war museum at Villers-Bretonneux in northern France.

Mr Turnbull chocked back tears while speaking about the death of his wife Lucy’s great uncle, Roger Forrest Hughes, who was killed in action during World War I.

“Within five days of arriving on the banks of the the River Somme [in 1916], he was hit by a shell while treating a wounded digger,” he said at Villers-Bretonneux.

“Roger died at the age of 26 in the arms of his brother.”

Edouard Philippe and Malcolm Turnbull unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the centre. Photo: AAP

Mr Philippe’s eyes welled up as he spoke of the “terrible loneliness” that “thousands of young Australians must have felt as their young lives were cut short in a foreign country”.

“A foreign country. A faraway country. A cold country whose earth had neither the colour nor texture of their native bush,” Mr Philippe said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spent Anzac Day with Australian troops in Afghanistan.

“Their humour, their humility, their mateship and dedication to duty represent the very best of the Anzac tradition,” Mr Shorten told AAP.

In Sydney, hundreds of female veterans fronted Sydney’s Anzac Day march for the first time and led more than 16,000 service men and women through the CBD.

For the first time, female veterans led the Anzac Day parade. Photo: AAP

Molly Cummings, 100, was among those at the front of the parade to honour and remember a long line of family members who served Australia in different conflicts.

She farewelled her two uncles and brother, not knowing if she would ever see them again. Her brother served during World War II, in the Middle East and New Guinea.

“Fortunately, he survived,” Ms Cummings told AAP.

“Anzac Day reminds me of him and my uncles.”

Female veterans were front and centre in Sydney. Photo: AAP

The end of the march coincided with a commemoration service held by RSL NSW at Hyde Park.

Villers-Bretonneux was full of Australians for the dawn service there Wednesday night (AEST), just as it was 100 years ago in the thick of the Battle of the Somme.

Prince Charles, Mr Turnbull, and Mr Philippe joined more than 8000 people at the Australian War Memorial to pay homage to the diggers who fought and won a battlethere on April 25, 2018.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, NSW Governor David Hurley, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott were among attendees.

Women also took centre stage in other Anzac Day marches around the country.

In another first, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern laid a wreath at an Anzac Day dawn service in Auckland.

“I’ve been attending Anzac services since I was a little girl but there is obviously something quite special and humbling about being asked to wreath on behalf of all New Zealanders,” Ms Ardern told TVNZ on Wednesday.

“For me, it was a personal commemoration of the service of my family members. That feels even more acute now since my grandfather who served in WWII has past away.”

In London, Prince Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan Markle attended a dawn ceremony and the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving on Wednesday to commemorate Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle at the dawn service in Wellington Arch to mark Anzac Day in London. Photo: AAP

Prince Harry, a former army officer who served for 10 years in the forces, laid a wreath at the Australian memorial and he and Meghan signed a book of remembrance.

A handwritten note from the prince, attached to a wreath of red roses, read: “For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our freedom. Thank you. Harry”.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, a bus carrying 45 passengers – mostly from Australia and New Zealand – was on its way to the Anzac Cove Dawn Service at Gallipoli when it became engulfed in flames.

Four hours into the five-hour journey, smoke started belching from the engine at the back of the bus and passengers were instructed to exit the vehicle.

Anzac Cove bus fire
The 45 passengers were making their pilgrimage to Gallipoli. Photo: ABC

It is understood no passengers were hurt but their belongings were destroyed.

The Australian organisers of the dawn service, Definitive Events, transferred the group to a hotel nearby where they received clothes and blankets before boarding another bus to get to the service on time.

-with AAP

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