Honouring the Anzac spirit in London

Department of Defence

Large crowds turned out in London for Anzac Day services led by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Under calm clear skies, Prince Edward led the dawn service at Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. He was greeted with a Haka and later placed a wreath with the simple handwritten words “In Memoriam” and signed “Edward”.

Australia’s Navy Adviser Captain Adrian Capner said it was an honour to be a part of the London service.

“Today is so important – remembering those who have gone before us and those who are currently serving so we can enjoy the life we have today,” Captain Capner said.

Later in the morning, Prince Edward led the wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph at Whitehall before a special service at Westminster Abbey.

The day marked 108 years since the first Anzac Day service was held in London and attended by His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary.

About 2000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers marched through the streets of the city to the Abbey in 1916 to mark the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Head of Australian Defence Staff in London Brigadier Grant Mason said this year also marked the 80th anniversary of the D-day landings in Normandy, France.

“Three-thousand, two-hundred Australians from all three services took part in the landings, which involved the biggest armada of ships ever assembled,” Brigadier Mason said.

“It’s incredibly moving to see so many people come out in London and at services across the UK to commemorate Anzac Day, and to honour the courage and sacrifice of personnel who have served and died in all conflicts.”

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