This content is not available in your region

Australia and New Zealand commemorate war dead on Anzac Day

Access to the comments Comments
By Mark Armstrong  with AP
Australia and New Zealand commemorate war dead on Anzac Day
Copyright  Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Ajansı

Australia and New Zealand paid tribute to their war dead early on Sunday, the anniversary of the two nations WW1 landing on the Turkish coast in Gallipoli in 1915, known as Anzac Day.

At a dawn service in the Australian capital, Canberra, a soldier played the didgeridoo for the first time in recognition of the sacrifices made by the indigenous population, while in New Zealand women received a special mention from the country's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.

"Across the generations, war has taken a grievous toll for both what it is and for what it leaves behind. This has always been a central part of our Anzac Day commemorations but this year, we shine a special light on the service and sacrifice of women, past and present," Ardern said.

Australia's ambassador attended an Anzac Day memorial in northern France.

A costly campaign

This year is the 106th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, which marked the first combat of the First World War for Australia and New Zealand.

The campaign failed and Allied forces withdrew after eight months of fighting on the ground and some 250,000 casualties on both sides.

Australia and New Zealand lost thousands of soldiers, as did the UK, France, and Turkey.

The Ottoman victory at Gallipoli did not prevent the end of the Ottoman Empire but propelled Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a commander at Gallipoli, to lead Turkey's independence war.