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


Have your say: NZ considers rules for medicinal cannabis

12 Jul 2019 Health By Hon Dr David Clark
More widespread access to medicinal cannabis products is a step closer today with the release of proposals for regulations says... more

Steps taken to secure the future of New Zealand House London

10 Jul 2019 News By Rt HON WINSTON PETERS
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says further steps are being taken towards securing the future of New Zealand House in... more


Minister Parker leads trade delegation to China

24 Apr 2019 Business News By Hon David Parker
Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker will lead a delegation of business representatives to China next week to advance the... more

Multinationals to pay fair share of tax

26 Jun 2018 Business News
26 JUNE 2018 HON STUART NASH New measures to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax will come into force next... more


Kiwis Saving Kiwi - London fundraiser to save NZ's iconic national bird

3 Jun 2019 London
This is an opportunity for London Kiwis to become Kiwi Savers. We're not talking about our financial future here, but the very... more

Celebrating NZ wine: today is International Sauvignon Blanc Day!

3 May 2019 Food & Wine
Today, Friday 3 May, is International Sauvignon Blanc Day. Sauvignon Blanc is the variety that woke the world up to New Zealand wine,... more


New Zealand Government will not implement a Capital Gains Tax

17 Apr 2019 Property By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
The Coalition Government will not proceed with the Tax Working Group’s recommendation for a capital gains tax, Jacinda Ardern... more

More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle

22 Aug 2018 Property
30 JULY 2018More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle HON JENNY SALESA The 2018 National Construction Pipeline... more


Christchurch reinstated as refugee settlement location

18 Aug 2018 Migration
18 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY The announcement that Christchurch can once again be a settlement location for refugees... more

Post-study work rights emphasise skills NZ needs

8 Aug 2018 Migration
8 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY Changes to post-study work rights will help ensure international students coming to New Zealand... more


Arrival card change to smooth border process for international travellers to NZ

26 Sep 2018 Travel & Tourism By Hon Kris Faafoi
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 International travellers arriving into New Zealand should have a simpler, faster entry as a result of changes to... more

NZ Government to fully fund Auckand's SkyPath as part of $390m investment in walking and cycling

25 Aug 2018 Travel & Tourism
23 AUGUST 2018 HON PHIL TWYFORD HON JAMES SHAW Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw have... more


Looking to Lord's - The CWC19 Final awaits

14 Jul 2019 Cricket
Posted Friday, 12 July, 2019 in International News New Zealand or England will lift... more

Cricket World Cup 2019: England will face Black Caps in final after thumping Australia

12 Jul 2019 Cricket By Steve Douglas
Jul 12 2019 SKY SPORT England will play the Black Caps in the Cricket World Cup final after crushing Australia at Edgbaston. 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

Congratulations to Loder Cup winner

26 Sep 2018 People By Hon Eugenie Sage
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 The Loder Cup, one of New Zealand’s oldest conservation awards, has been awarded to Robert McGowan for 2018... more

Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

16 Aug 2018 Appointments
16 AUGUST 2018Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO HON JENNY SALESA Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa is... more


Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

14 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more

Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

22 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more