Members of the Royal Australian Navy joined their Army and Air Force comrades and veterans of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces to mark Anzac Day at Dawn Services, marches and commemorative services in every corner of the globe.
Lieutenant Commander Elena Cho, Navy’s Assistant Defence Attaché to the Republic of Korea experienced a particularly unique Anzac Day, which started with her participation in a Dawn Service in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, where the snow fell around her as the Australian National Anthem played.
Other locations where Anzac Day was marked by members of the Royal Australian Navy included Hellfire Pass in Thailand, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, France, Malaysia, China and at sea and ashore on operations in the Middle East Region, to name just a few.
Chief of Navy gives address at Dawn Service in France
By LEUT Harley Slatter
Almost 2000 people paid their respects to the fallen and survivors of the First World War at the Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, on Anzac Day.
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, gave the call to remembrance.
“This memorial, where our countries’ sons were laid to rest, pays tribute to those men who perished in the battles of war,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“It also honours those who fought in the war and did not die.”
Lance Corporal William “Blue” Camroux, who saw action in Bullecourt, was one of those soldiers.
“Blue Camroux was wounded twice, but remained in the field,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“He was gassed in the last Australian infantry action of the war, but lived until his early 40s.
“One of tens of thousands of former diggers who survived the fighting but died far too young.”
After services at Villers-Bretonneux, the ADF contingent attended a wreath-laying ceremony in at The Bullecourt Digger memorial.
The Honorary Mayor of Bullecourt, Jules Laude, was awarded the Order of Australia in 2013 for service to Australian-French relations, particularly his contribution to preserving the memory of Australian WWI veterans.
In the days leading up to Anzac Day, Mr Laude reflected on the bonds between that part of France and Australia as he stood at the memorial.
“I was born in Bullecourt, my grandparents were born here too and were evacuated during World War One,” Mr Laude said.
“It is with enormous gratitude that we recognise the Australian lives lost here in World War One.
“It is for the unimaginable scale of that suffering that we remember the contribution of Australia in the war.”
The Australian Defence Force contingent for the service also included the master of ceremonies, Lieutenant Colonel Ben McLennan, Senior Chaplain Murray Lund, the Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Gary Wight, Australia’s Federation Guard and The Royal Australian Navy Band.
Anzac Day marked at three locations in Malaysia
By CAPT Roger Brennan
Defence members from INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019 (IPE19) stood still and observed a minute of silence to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during three dawn services in Malaysia.
A ceremony was held in Kuala Lumpur and another at Port Klang on board HMAS Canberra.
HMAS Success held its own service in Langkawi.
Canberra’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ashley Papp, addressed those on the flight deck.
“Anzac Day in Malaysia gives us the chance to reflect on Australia from a different perspective,” Captain Papp said.
“We think about those who have gone before us, those who have survived, those who have died and our families back home.”
As the sun rose over Malaysia, dignitaries, Australian and New Zealand defence personnel and veterans gathered at The National Monument in the heart of Kuala Lumpur to remember those who have served in war, conflict and peacekeeping operations.
The ceremony was led by the New Zealand High Commission, music was played by the New Zealand Army Veterans Band, and the catafalque party was formed by personnel of IPE19 Joint Task Force 661.
“Anzac Day is an emotional morning for every Australian and particularly for those of us on board Canberra,” Captain Papp said.
“Today is a commemoration, a memory and it’s also a celebration of those who continue to serve—it’s a proud day for us and a proud moment this morning.”
The defence personnel visited Malaysia as part of IPE19, which is aimed at deepening defence relations in the region.
Solemn promise made at Gallipoli
By FLTLT Chloe Stevenson
The Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell delivered this year’s commemorative address at the Dawn Service at the Anzac Cove Commemorative Site on the Gallipoli peninsula, in Turkey.
General Campbell stood at the landing site of the original Australian soldiers on that morning over a century before. He said it was the stories of the soldiers themselves that brought their legend to life.
“It is the shades of grey which make the ANZACs so compelling,” General Campbell said to the silent crowd.
“A century of remembrance, a century of scholarship, has revealed their complexity. They were from the city and the country, they were young and older.
“They felt fear and anger, sorrow and joy.
“They were individuals who have become a collective group but it is in the detail of their individual stories that we come as close as we can to understanding their experience. I encourage you to seek out those stories.”
Visitors from Australia, New Zealand and all across the world stood shoulder to shoulder in quiet contemplation during the service.
Their presence made a promise of remembrance and to honour the ANZACs and their spirit of courage, endurance and mateship.
“Here, at what was once known as North Beach, we can no longer see the piers, supplies, mules, field hospitals and aid posts which crowded this area in the latter months of the campaign,” General Campbell said.
“The sounds, smells and sights of the war are long gone but the stories remain with us.
“Turkey, New Zealand and Australia are forever connected by our shared history in this place.”
Towards the end of the ceremony, the morning light crept over the water at Anzac Cove and illuminated the silent crowd that stared out to the calm Aegean Sea.
General Campbell completed his address with a few key simple words.
“For what they have done, this we will do,” he said.
“Lest we forget.”
Australia’s Federation Guard supported the ceremony at the Anzac Day Commemorative Site and Lone Pine Cemetery with a catafalque party, wreath laying and special readings.
Anzac Day in the Middle East Region
Anzac Day was commemorated throughout the Middle East with a number of dawn services across theatre.
Australian and New Zealand personnel stood side by side with counterparts from Turkey and coalition forces to remember the fallen in all wars and conflicts.
At Camp Baird, the commander of Joint Task Force 633, Air Vice Marshal Joe Iervasi spoke at the dawn service and highlighted the Anzac spirit of mateship on current operations.
“Mateship is the genesis of the inseparable bond between our two countries. Young of heart, strong of body, clear of vision, they would sacrifice all to help a mate,” Air Vice Marshal Iervasi said.
“Today is about reflection: as nations, as communities, as individuals—an opportunity to reflect and honour those before us.
“As dawn approaches we see a new horizon of hope and promise. I see in your eyes that same commitment, that same passion and desire to pursue all that is good in the defence of our nations.”
Later that day, those not on duty had the opportunity to play cricket before watching the Anzac Day football matches broadcast from Australia.
Catafalque parties also provided support to locations as far away as the Amman Citadel, Jordan and with Australian staff in headquarters elements in Kuwait.
Ballarat marks Anzac Day at sea
By LCDR Scott Backo
HMAS Ballarat commemorated Anzac Day at sea this year with a dignified dawn service while on operations in the Indian Ocean.
In the grey pre-dawn light, the ship’s company gathered on the quarterdeck to hear a Maori translation of the Ode of Remembrance and the story of the Free French Destroyer Le Triomphant.
The ceremony was led by Chaplain James Sutherland and Leading Seaman Bruce Hoskins, on exchange from the Royal New Zealand Navy, read the Ode.
The Commanding Officer of Ballarat, Commander Paul Johnson, noted the continued co-operation between the two nations.
“This Anzac Day finds us on operations working with ships from France, the United States, and Denmark and in support of Combined Maritime Forces,” Commander Johnson said.
“Alongside 33 nations, we seek to achieve the common goal of security and stability in the region, whilst ensuring readiness to counter common threats whenever called upon.
“As we gather together this morning at sea, on operations with our partners, let us commemorate Anzac Day and reflect on the sacrifice of those who have gone before us, and the traditions that that they have built.”
Ballarat is part of the Gulf Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise (GASWEX) with the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle.
Among the crew of Ballarat during the service was a French Navy liaison officer.
As part of the service, the ship’s company heard the history of the Free French Destroyer Le Triomphant.
During WWII, Le Triomphant rendered assistance to Australian Convoy 86, which, on 8 February 1942, came under attack from a Japanese submarine off the New South Wales coast.
Le Triomphant rescued 14 survivors of the convoy ship, Iron Knight before hunting for the submarine for several days.
Deployed on Operating MANITOU, Ballarat contributes to the security and stability of the Middle East through counter-piracy patrols.
Australians pause to remember across Afghanistan
In Kabul, Afghanistan, commemorations were held at the military base on the north side of Kabul International Airport.
The last of the winter snow was still evident on the peaks overlooking the city when more than 150 Australian Defence Force members gathered at the service.
Personnel from Britain, Denmark, Germany, Turkey and the United States were also there to share in the reflection.
Commander Task Group Afghanistan, Brigadier Tim O’Brien, paid tribute to the spirit of Anzac and the members currently deployed. He was joined by Australian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Nicola Gordon-Smith, and the commander of the military base, Turkish Army Brigadier General Hasan Hüseyin Kanbur.
The story was similar across Afghanistan at the headquarters of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, in Kabul’s green zone, at Bagram Airfield and Kandahar Airfield. The Kandahar service featured a catafalque party composed of two Australian and two United States servicemen, which highlighted the close military relationship between the two nations.
At Camp Qargha, to the west of Kabul, and home to Australian mentors at the Afghan National Officer Academy, the dawn service was attended by members from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Turkey and the United States.
Capturing the day
Australian Defence Force Imagery Specialists worked around the clock and around the globe on Anzac Day to capture the activities of Defence Force personnel for their families at home and the Australian public.
Additional imagery can be found at https://images.defence.gov.au/.