Themes of homecoming and mateship at ANZAC commemorations in London   25 Apr 2019

Charlotte Everett

The 104th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings have been marked in London with a number of services throughout the day and into the evening.

Despite the bleak weather forecast, around 3,000 people turned out for the 5am Dawn Service at Hyde Park Corner – this year hosted at the Australian War Memorial. In the centennial year that many ANZAC personnel who survived the conflicts of the First World War would have been making their way home, special tribute was paid to those who returned, as well as to those who lost their lives. Australian High Commissioner George Brandis made particular reference to those who returned in his ANZAC address – stating that although they may have made it home, they were no longer the same – and many went on to lose their lives by their own hand. What we now understand as PTSD, not understood a century ago, resulted in many ANZACs who struggled in the aftermath of the war tragically taking their own lives.

The theme this year, was homecoming. Brigadier Chris Parsons, Head of New Zealand Defence Staff, gave a stirring reading of Homecoming – Te Hokinga Mai by Vincent O’Sullivan. The second reading, from Commodore Guy Holthouse, Head of Australian Defence Staff London, echoed this theme with Banjo Paterson’s Moving On. An excerpt from Sir Jerry Mataparae, High Commissioner for New Zealand’s reading from the words of William J. McKeon:

‘Many returned men, the war-time tension released, took to the bottle and ran riot in many parts of the country. It didn’t help, but who could blame them? Many of them had been wounded, many of them had been mentally shocked. It is easier to cure a scar on the body than a scar on the mind. An unsympathetic public judged these lapses harshly with, perhaps, some justification, but they were unaware of the strain to which these poor Diggers had been subjected. It was all very sad. There appeared to be no honour in having served one’s country and we felt withdrawn and unwanted. Even our own families remarked how changed we were.

Of course we were changed. How could one exist in an atmosphere of war without being changed? How could one suffer mud, cold and discomfort, see friends and comrades blown to fragments, suffer the pain and misery of serious wounds without changing? Young as many of us were, we had aged immeasurably.’

The Dawn Service concluded with a wreath laying at both the Australian and New Zealand War Memorials, followed by an emotional haka lead by Ngati Ranana.

Other commemorations throughout the day included the Gallipoli Association Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, and the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. In his Bidding at Westminster Abbey, the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, asked us to pay particular mind to the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, to pray for an end of terror and for the triumph of peace. He reflected that for him as a boy, Christchurch epitomised the closeness between England and New Zealand, and that the city is more recently all too frequently in his prayers – whether it be due to earthquakes, or the recent terror attack. He is comforted that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is currently visiting Christchurch on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. The Christchurch attack was mentioned frequently throughout the service, and it was given specific mention within the Prayers. The Dean also called on the UK government to do all that it can to build up friendships with Britain’s old and close friends – Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa in particular.

The Royal family were represented at the service at the Abbey by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge – and surprisingly, not announced until the time of the service – Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester attended a trifecta of events – the Dawn Service, Cenotaph, and the service at Westminster Abbey.

A retiring collection was made for Combat Stress (veterans’ mental health).

Commemorations continue this evening at the New Zealand Society UK’s annual evening ANZAC reception in the Penthouse of the New Zealand High Commission.

 

Lead image courtesy of Peter Livingstone Photography

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Details of The Duke of Cambridge’s visit announced

18 Apr 2019 News By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
18 APRIL 2019 Details of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge’s itinerary for his upcoming visit to New Zealand on 25th... more

NZ and France seek to end use of social media for acts of terrorism

24 Apr 2019 News By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
New Zealand and France announced today that the two nations will bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to... more

Business

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

Living

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

Themes of homecoming and mateship at ANZAC commemorations in London

25 Apr 2019 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
The 104th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings have been marked in London with a number of services throughout the day and into the... more

Property

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

Migration

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

Travel

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

Sport

America’s Cup court ruling vindicates process

26 Sep 2018 Sailing By Hon David Parker
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 The Environment Court has today granted the resource consent for the 36th America's Cup bases in Auckland and the... more

Humble Stephen Kearney praises Warriors staff ahead of finals appearance: 'It's not down to one person'

3 Sep 2018 Rugby League
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney paid tribute to the club's unsung heroes ahead of their first taste of NRL finals football since... more

Columns

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

Recruitment

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