|Cathedral closed until further notice|
Remembering those who served in the Gallipoli Campaign
25 April 2017
Those who served and lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign were remembered at the annual wreath-laying ceremony at St Paul's on 25 April 2017.
Wreaths were laid at the Gallipoli Memorial in the Cathedral crypt on Tuesday 25 April by senior representatives of the nations which suffered the most serious losses in the ill-fated eight-month campaign to secure the strategic stronghold of Constantinople, now Istanbul.
- The Rt Hon. Mr Mike Penning, MP, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
- Rear Admiral Nicholas Hine, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Policy
- Major General Ivan Jones, Chief of Staff Field Army
- The Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, KSTJ, High Commissioner for New Zealand
- The Hon. Mr Alexander Downer, AC, Higher Commissioner for Australia
- Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, Defence Attaché, France
- His Excellency Mr Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland
- His Excellency Mr Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Turkish Ambassador
- Captain Christopher Fagan, MBE, DL, President, The Gallipoli Assocation
As part of the ceremony, Mr Bilgiç delivered words spoken by Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey, when he visited Gallipoli almost two decades after the campaign in 1934.
The Gallipoli Campaign and the founding of Anzac
The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915 was one of the largest campaigns of the First World War and was especially to become known as a defining moment in
the histories of both Australia and New Zealand.
With stalemate on the Western Front, and the Russians under threat from the Ottoman Empire, it was decided to mount a naval attack on the Gallipoli Peninsula with the aim of capturing Constantinople.
On 25 April 1915 British, French, Australian, New Zealand and other empire troops all landed on the peninsula but immediately came up against stiff resistance from the Turks.
Trench warfare quickly took hold and a long siege began. At Gaba Tepe, later dubbed Anzac Cove, where the Australian and New Zealand forces were based, conditions rapidly deteriorated in the heat, allowing disease to quickly spread and food to become inedible.
With the Allied troops moving nowhere and political crisis at home, a decision was made to evacuate in December that year.
In just eight months, of the 410,000 British, Australian, New Zealand and other Empire troops and 70,000 French who went ashore, 50,000 were killed, with only 10,000 having known graves. 202,000 were wounded, evacuated sick or captured. The Turkish forces, with some Germans, numbered about 350,000, of whom at least 66,000 were killed plus some 284,000 casualties.
Anzac Day, which is now the largest day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand, was born directly from the Gallipoli conflict and is remembered each year on April 25. In both countries this campaign was a pivotal moment in history and helped create the Anzac Spirit of endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, larrikinism, and mateship.
When Turkey became a republic, Kemal Ataturk was to become its first president. With magnanimity and statesmanship Ataturk extended a message of comfort to the war widows and mothers of all the Allied troops of Gallipoli, which contributed greatly to reconciliation and to the friendship that now exists between the allied countries and Turkey.
The Gallipoli Memorial
The Gallipoli Memorial, which is intended to commemorate all those who took part in the Campaign, was erected by the Gallipoli Association and unveiled on 28 November 1995 by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the presence of eight surviving veterans.