Thousands turn out to ANZAC services in London   27 Apr 2018

Charlotte Everett

Image by Peter Livingstone; article by Charlotte Everett


“I’m of the generation who grew up with elders from the Second World War, who were concerned that when they passed, whether these ceremonies would continue. And I just know that those men, all now deceased, would be absolutely thrilled with the turnout and the support that we are seeing here this morning.”

These were the opening words of the Right Honourable Trevor Mallard, delivering his ANZAC address at the dawn service held in London on Wednesday.

How impressed would this generation be, not only by the sheer turnout of thousands to London’s Hyde Park Corner, but strengthened by the fact that unlike at home, Aussies and Kiwis attending the  London dawn service did not have the day off – many would have set out not long after 2am, travelling in on night buses – and would be facing a long day at work afterwards.

It’s somewhat poignant that 100 years have passed since the final year of the First World War, and here we gather, on the other side of the world, to honour the service of those who travelled to the other side of the world themselves, but who had effectively offered up their lives for the freedom that we enjoy today. The ANZACs – unlike their British counterparts – were almost entirely volunteers, and while some were fighting with the conviction “For King, for country, for empire” – others were simply young lads with a keen sense of adventure. Although this adventurous spirit endures for young Aussies and Kiwis today, the excitement and freedom that awaits us here in 2018, is a very different reality to the horror faced by those young men at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

The London dawn service as always was attended by a host of VIPs, notably this year by Prince Harry and his soon-to-be wife, Meghan Markle – both wearing New Zealand RSA poppies. The Prince and his fiancé were welcomed to the New Zealand Memorial (where this year’s service was held), and each greeted with a hongi from Te Ataraiti Waretini of Ngati Ranana, London Maori club. London-based New Zealander Jayson Norris led the singing of the hymn “Abide With Me”, and also sang the New Zealand national anthem. The laying of wreaths at both the New Zealand and Australian memorials was led by Prince Harry – a former Army officer of 10 years himself – who chose a wreath of red roses, with a personal note attached: “For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our freedom. Thank you. Harry”.

The dawn service concluded with both a song and spine-tingling haka by Ngati Ranana – performed to the VIPs, including the Prince and Ms. Markle. New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the UK, Sir Jerry Mateparae – who was standing with the VIPs – responded with a powerful haka himself, in unison with Ngati Ranana.

Later in the morning, a further short ANZAC service and wreath-laying took place at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. Prince Harry laid another wreath, with wreaths also laid by the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners, Heads of the New Zealand and Australian Defence Staffs, various Armed Services and ex-Service organisations, as well as representatives of the British Government – including Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

The final official event in London’s ANZAC Day commemorations, was the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. In a surprise and unexpected appearance – especially after the birth of his third child only 2 days previous – Prince William joined his brother and Ms. Markle at the Abbey, having requested a seat the day before.

 In his Address, the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, commented that he hopes that the service that will take place in the Abbey later in the year (on November 11, to mark the end of the First World War), will be attended by people from all countries involved in that war, whatever “side” they were on – symbolising the reconciliation of old enemies. Indeed, the annual ANZAC service that takes place in Westminster Abbey itself represents the reconciliation of old enemies, with Turkey always playing and active and inclusive role in the service. This year was no different. The Dean urged us to ask ourselves: have we as a people, as a world, made any real progress towards peace? He said if the answer to that question is “yes”, then this upcoming centenary will really be one worth celebrating.

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share


Biosecurity New Zealand launched

30 Apr 2018 Environment By Hon Damien O'Connor
  30 April 2018 Minister for Biosecurity Damien O’Connor launched Biosecurity New Zealand at the Zealandia... more

Opinion: Auckland Regional fuel tax vote a victory for progress

30 Apr 2018 News By Hon Phil Tywford
30 April 2018 Auckland Council is to be congratulated for this afternoon voting 15-2 in favour of the regional fuel tax, Transport... more


Minister hails new Secure Exports Scheme partner

30 Apr 2018 Business News By Hon Meka Whaitiri
30 April 2018 Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri today welcomed the signing of a partnership between New Zealand Customs and dairy... more

RBNZ Governor supports macro-prudential policy

16 Mar 2018 Business News
Macro-prudential policy has been particularly useful in the current environment of globally low interest rates, where monetary policy... more


Kiwi indie-pop trio heads to London for the very first time - and the show is already sold out

30 May 2018 Arts By Charlotte Everett
Indie-pop trio nomad have left New Zealand behind to tour internationally for the first time. NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett... more

Thousands turn out to ANZAC services in London

27 Apr 2018 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
Image by Peter Livingstone; article by Charlotte Everett   “I’m of the generation who grew up with elders from the... more


No new solutions in housing report

12 Feb 2018 Property By Michael Woodhouse
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018   The Government's housing stocktake report released today adds no new knowledge or... more

Stocktake finds housing crisis deeper, more entrenched

12 Feb 2018 Property
12 FEBRUARY 2018 An independent stocktake of New Zealand’s housing sector has found the housing crisis the country faces is deeper... more


Community organisations chosen to sponsor refugees in New ZealandI

26 Jan 2018 Migration By Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
26 JANUARY 2018 Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has today announced the four community-based organisations who will be the... more

Building occupations added to skill shortage list

14 Dec 2017 Migration By Iain Lees-Galloway
15 DECEMBER 2017 It will be easier for the building industry to find the workers it needs to help address New Zealand’s housing... more


International visitors spend $10.6bn in year to December

22 Feb 2018 Travel & Tourism
International visitor spending reached a record high of $10.6 billion in the year to December 2017, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis... more

NZ Election 2017: Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation

28 Aug 2017 Travel & Tourism
Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation Posted by Kris Faafoi on August 28, 2017 Labour will estaba Tourism and... more


French win over England timely for All Blacks

13 Mar 2018 Rugby By Lynn McConnell
  12 March 2018 France's upset victory over England in the Six Nations at the weekend was the perfect result for the All... more

Winter Olympics: NZ Triples Medal Count in Single Day

22 Feb 2018 Sport
New Zealand has tripled its Olympic Winter Games medal count in a single stunning afternoon at PyeongChang 2018. Zoi... more


Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf The ghastly likes of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert ... more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome Well um.. on the bright side, there (probably)... more

Kiwi Success

New Auckland DHB chairs announced

30 Apr 2018 Appointments
30 April 2018 Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced new chairs to lead Auckland’s three District Health Boards. The... more

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more


Auckland employment hubs benefit over 500 young job seekers

8 Mar 2018 Recruitment By Hon Willie Jackson
8 MARCH 2018 Minister of Employment Willie Jackson today visited the Auckland CBD Jobs and Skills Hub and the Southern Initiative in... more

Fastest growing jobs - NZ recruitment

21 Dec 2017 Recruitment
New Zealand’s increasing need for social services has seen jobs in the Community Services & Development industry among the... more