Tomorrow Friday 25 April is ANZAC day and we in Britain should appreciate the wonderful support Australians and New Zealanders gave the home country in two world wars many laying down their lives in conflicts thousands of miles from their home.
It is a memorable day for our family as I have just visited my 96 year mother-in-law whose father was drowned aged 34 in 1918 while serving as a petty officer in the Royal Australian Navy.
The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stale-mate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers died. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.