The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry spent their second day in Turkey continuing to pay tribute those who lost their lives during the tragedy know as Gallipoli and commemorating the Centenary of ANZAC Day.
ANZAC commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The date, 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
At dawn on Saturday, Prince Charles and Prince Harry attended the Spirit of Place Ceremony and the Dawn Service, ANZAC Commemorative Site.
Joining the Royals for this event were the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Tony Abbott and Mr John Key, and will then be joined by Mrs Margie Abbott and Mrs Bronagh Key.
At exactly 0500, the ‘Spirit of Place’ commenced, this is the precursor to the Anzac service and consisted of four parts.
William Barton, one of Australia’s finest didgeridoo players, performed. Next a live soliloquy recounting the landing at Anzac Cove read. Following the reading, a Roll of Honour displayed the names and epitaphs of those Anzacs who died at Gallipoli. Finally, a Karanga (M?ori call to gathering) was performed by women in the New Zealand Defence Force.
Upon the commencement of the service, Prince Charles delivered a reading and laid a wreath. The Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand laid wreaths along with other official representatives in attendance.
The Dawn Service takes place at Anzac Cove looking out to sea, with a towering outcrop named the ‘the Sphinx’ at the rear of the site. It is a moving and memorable spot but was not, in fact, the centre of the Anzac landings on 25th April, as they occurred somewhat to the south.
This area was arranged to accommodate the growing numbers of Australians and New Zealanders who make the journey each year to attend the Dawn Service.
After attending the dawn service, Charles and Harry attended the ANZAC Breakfast hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Ambassadors to Turkey. Following the breakfast, Charles and his son watched a performance by a M?ori cultural (Kapa Haka) group drawn from members of the New Zealand Defence Force. They then met with ten widows of Australian soldiers who fought in the Gallipoli campaign.
The next engagement had the royal father and son attend a memorial service at Lone Pine. There they were greeted by Prime Minister Abbott and his wife, Mrs Margie Abbott. The Minister of Veteran’s Affairs for Australia, the Chief of the Defence Force and the Ambassador of Australia to Turkey, along with the Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission were also present.
Prior to the service, Charles and Harry met with veterans, Australian school children and members of the public.
Prince Harry delivered a reading at the service, followed by Charles laying a wreath.
Lone Pine was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign. Fought between August 6 and August 10 in 1915, more than 2,000 Australians died during the Battle of Lone Pine.
Seven Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery during the battle.
The Lone Pine Memorial, located on the site of the fiercest fighting at Lone Pine honours more than 4,900 Australian and New Zealand Servicemen, who died in the Anzac area whose graves are not known.
Others named on the memorial died at sea and buried in Gallipoli waters. The adjacent Cemetery includes the graves of 1,167 Commonwealth Servicemen of the First World War; 504 of the burials are unidentified.Following Lone Pine, Charles and Harry attended the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial Service
The service consisted of a short ceremony, with Muslim faith components and readings; One Minute’s Silence, marked by firing weapons; and the Turkish National Anthem and raising of the Turkish flag. Prince Charles laid a wreath following the raising of the Turkish flag.
Constructed in 1992, The Memorial remembers the men of the Turkish 57th Regiment, who died at Gallipoli and honours the commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal, who went on to establish the modern Turkish Republic.
The Regiment was the first defending unit to see action after the landings at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. During a counter-attack on 19th May, it is estimated the Regiment had 10,000 killed or wounded in a single day.
The final engagement on Saturday had The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry attend the New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair.
After being they greeted by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr John Key, and his wife, Mrs Bronagh Key, they met members of the New Zealand public, including several ‘youth ambassadors.’
Prince Harry delivered a reading during the service with Prince Charles laying a wreath to honour the New Zealand fallen. Prince Harry and the President of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, Mr Barry Clarke jointly layed a wreath together during Saturday’s service.
The Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial is one of the four memorials erected to memorialise New Zealand soldiers who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It takes its name from the southern summit (now known as Conkbayiri) of the Sari Bair, the ridge which overlooks the centre of the Peninsula.
This important position was the main objective in the battle of Sari Bair from 6th to 10th August 1915. It was temporarily held following a joined New Zealand, British and Gurkha assault, before being lost to a resolute Turkish counter-attack. The Chunuk Bair Cemetery contains 632 Commonwealth burials, only ten of which are identified.
Prince Harry will briefly return to the UK this weekend following the Gallipoli commemorations in Turkey, to attend the London Marathon as Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.
photo credit: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence