Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial, Gallipoli, courtesy of Dr. Adam Jones

Australia and New Zealand announce results of ballots for Gallipoli 2015 Anzac Day tickets

Posted on centenarynews.com on 07 April 2014
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Australians and New Zealanders who've been successful in ballots for tickets to the Centenary Anzac Day service at Gallipoli in 2015 have been notified by their governments.

With high demand expected, both countries held ballots because the Turkish authorities limit attendance at the  commemorative site to 10,500 people. 

The event on 25th April 2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, an attack on Germany's Ottoman Empire allies aimed at breaking the deadlock in the First World War.

More than 42,000 people applied for the 8,000 tickets reserved for Australians. In New Zealand, there were almost 10,000 applicants for the 1900 places available.

One hundred 'special passes' were held back from the New Zealand ballot for issue later to youth and other representatives.

New Zealand began notifying successful applicants from March 31st. The Australian ballot results were announced on April 3rd.

Defining event

The Gallipoli campaign is seen as a defining event in shaping the identity of both countries, at the time self-governing Dominions of the British Empire. It was their first major action of the war on the Allied side.

The New Zealand Veterans' Affairs Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said: "The significance of Gallipoli to New Zealand is evident by the overwhelming interest in the ballot."

"The centenary commemorations next year will be especially poignant and a time for New Zealanders both abroad and at home to reflect." 

New Zealand is considering holding a second service at Gallipoli in August 2015 for those who've been disappointed in the ballot.

In Australia, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson, said the Government was committed to providing opportunities for all Australians to participate in what he called "the most significant period of commemoration in the nation's history."

He said: “Those without tickets for Anzac Day 2015 may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine Centenary commemoration service.  

"The Battle at Lone Pine saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign. Over four days, Australia suffered more than 2,000 casualties and seven Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross.” 

Waiting lists

Waiting lists have been drawn up in both Australia and New Zealand for the reallocation of any returned Centenary commemoration tickets.

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, known as ANZAC, was sent to Gallipoli as part of an ultimately abortive attempt, also involving British and French forces, to pave the way for an attack on the Ottoman capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Overall, British-led forces lost 33,000 dead, including almost 9,000 Australians and nearly 3,000 New Zealanders. The French suffered an estimated 10,000 fatalities and 87,000 Turks died defending their country.

Source: Australian and New Zealand Governments

Date of press release publication: 3rd April & 31st March 2014

Images courtesy of:  Dr Adam Jones

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News