Anzac Reflection During Deployment

Department of Defence

Australian and New Zealand Defence Force contingents remembered more than 130,000 soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli – including more than 85,000 Ottoman, 8700 Australians and 2700 New Zealanders – at an Anzac Day service at UN House in Juba, South Sudan.

Personnel were joined by senior leadership of the UN Mission in South Sudan, along with colleagues from the many nations’ military and police forces deployed to South Sudan.

In his address to the service, Commander of the Australian contingent Colonel Brandon Wood reflected on the subsequent commitments and sacrifices made by thousands of Australian and New Zealand men and women in the many conflicts and peacekeeping operations since the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.

He said this commitment from Australia to send its young men and women includes, “our longest continuous operational deployment to the UN’s first ever peacekeeping operation”.

“Australia has provided personnel to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) since 1956, and more recently since 2011 to this UN Mission here in South Sudan,” he said.

Colonel Wood said being deployed on operations was a unique opportunity for the 14-strong triservice contingent to commemorate.

At the end of his address, Colonel Wood said, “Anzac Day remains a day to remember the ultimate sacrifice that has been made by so many”.

“Since the founding of the United Nations, in excess of 4300 officers and soldiers have lost their lives ‘in the service of peace’. Today we especially remember the 16 Australians who died on peacekeeping operations worldwide, as well as all Australian soldiers, sailors and aviators who made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts across the globe,” he said.

Contingent member Squadron Leader Dean Kremer said this year’s Anzac Day service was a unique opportunity to reflect on his family’s own history of military service, with members having served in both world wars.

“Being deployed myself on Anzac Day is indeed a rare and personal honour to be able to commemorate,” he said.

Chief Petty Officer Simmi Lockhart echoed the thoughts of all contingent members.

“I am proud to represent the ADF on peacekeeping operations in Juba this year and feel honoured to commemorate Anzac Day together with my Australian and New Zealand colleagues here at UNMISS [UN Mission in South Sudan],” Chief Petty Officer Lockhart said.

“Today I also reflect on my family members who have served in both the Army and Navy in WW1 and WW2, including my great-great-grandfather who served in the 7th Light Horse Regiment at Gallipoli.”

The service was followed by a short breakfast hosted by the Australian and New Zealand contingents, where guests reflected on the meaning of Anzac Day.

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