The Cape Helles Memorial: focus for today's Commonwealth & Ireland remembrance on the Gallipoli peninsula (Photo: courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Gallipoli Centenary: summary of major events today & tomorrow

Posted on centenarynews.com on 24 April 2015
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A Centenary News overview of major national and international events taking place today and tomorrow (Anzac Day) to mark the 100th anniversary of the Allied landings at Gallipoli.

Today in Turkey - April 24th

Turkey will mark the anniversary with remembrance at the Martyrs' Memorial, attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at Canakkale on the Asian shore of the Dardanelles Strait.

Commonwealth and Ireland commemorations will follow later in the afternoon at the CWGC's Cape Helles Memorial on the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula.

British troops came ashore at Cape Helles at the start of the land attack on the Ottoman Empire on April 25th 1915.

Descendants of those who fought at Gallipoli will be among the British Government's guests.

The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry will be attending the ceremonies in Turkey today and tomorrow. Ireland will be represented by President Michael D. Higgins. His engagements include a visit to the cemetery at V-Beach, where many Irish casualties of the landings are buried.

There will also be a remembrance event at the Gallipoli memorial to the thousands of French soldiers who died in the 1915 campaign.

French troops, some holding their kepis on rifles, on their way to Gallipoli peninsula in 1915 (Photo: © IWM  Q 13411)

Tomorrow in Turkey - April 25th

The traditional Dawn Service, remembering the first Australian and New Zealand landings in the early hours of April 25th 1915, takes place at the Anzac Commemorative Site.

Dedicated 15 years ago, it overlooks the beaches, now known as Anzac Cove, where troops of the newly-formed Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) began their campaign.

Anticipating record demand for the Centenary, Australia and New Zealand held ballots for members of the public wanting to travel to Gallipoli for the Anzac Day commemorations. 

Numbers are limited to 10,500 because of restricted space at the Anzac site.

This event is followed by an Australian memorial service at Lone Pine, and a New Zealand memorial service at Chunuk Bair.

The Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers, Tony Abbott and John Key, will be representing their countries.

UK events

The Cenotaph, Whitehall: focus for the UK's Gallipoli commemorations (Photo: Centenary News)

The centenary of the Gallipoli landings will be marked with a day of commemorations in London on April 25th, attended by members of the British Royal Family. 

They start at 5am with the Dawn Service at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, where the Australian and New Zealand War Memorials are situated.

At 9am, the Gallipoli Association will hold a short service and wreath laying ceremony in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Descendants of those who fought in 1915 have been invited to take part in the national commemorative ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, starting at 11am.

The event will be attended by Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince William. It's led by the UK Government, in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions.

Tickets for the service of commemoration and thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey at 1pm are fully subscribed.

Services will also held in towns and cities across the UK including Birmingham, Cambridge and Coventry; and also in Ireland at Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Visit the Gallipoli Association website for more details. 

Canberra 

The Australian War Memorial holds its Dawn Service, traditionally an informal event, at 5.30am.

The National Ceremony of Remembrance starts at 10.15am. The commemorative address will be delivered by Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Sir Peter will also review a march-past of Australian forces' veterans. 

More information from the Australian War Memorial

Wellington

The New Zealand capital, Wellington, is hosting a week of Gallipoli Centenary commemorations. 

They start on April 18th with the opening of the newly created Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. On April 25th the park will be the venue for the Dawn Service at 5.30am and the Anzac Day Service at 11am.

There will also be a wreath laying service at the Cenotaph at 9am.

More details available from Wellington City Council.

Centenary News article about the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park project can be found here.

Auckland

Auckland War Memorial Museum - the Anzac Day Dawn Service (Photo: courtesy of Auckland War Memorial Museum)

From April 22nd, on the nights leading up to Anzac Day, Auckland War Memorial Musem will project free film screenings onto its northern facade. The projections will include rarely seen photographs of New Zealanders at Gallipoli from the Museum’s pictorial collections.

On April 25th, the Museum's Anzac Day programme starts with the Dawn Service. Following events include: Performances from Auckland Choral, Auckland Youth Choir and Auckland Girls’ Choir and a performance by The New Zealand Dance Company.

For further information, visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum website. 

Belgium

Anzac Day commemorations are held at the Menin Gate in Ypres and surrounding First World War sites.

6am: Dawn Service Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke

9.35am: Commemoration Service - Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery, Zonnebeke

11.10am: Procession and Menin Gate Service, Ypres 

11.35 am: Wreath-laying at the Belgian War Memorial, Ypres

3.30pm: Ploegsteert Toronto Avenue Cemetery commemoration service, Comines-Warneton

8pm: Nightly Last Post ceremony, Menin Gate, Ypres

More information from the Australian Embassy in Belgium website. 

France

Anzac Day commemorations include a Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, starting at 5.30am. A French service follows at 8.45am at the Monument aux Morts in the town centre.

There's also a service at the Digger Memorial, on the outskirts of the village of Bullecourt, near Arras, at 2.45pm.

More details, including road closures and special access arrangements, on the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs website: 

Many of the Gallipoli Centenary events are expected to attract large numbers of visitors, and people are advised to plan accordingly, and to check websites for updates.

Sources: The Gallipoli Association, Australian & New Zealand Governments, Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Australian War Memorial, Visitflanders

Images courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Helles); Imperial War Museum © IWM Q 13411 (French troops); Auckland War Memorial Museum (Dawn Service); Centenary News (Cenotaph, Whitehall); Birmingham City Council (Gallipoli event)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News