The Queen led a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall to mark the 100th anniversary since the disastrous Gallipoli campaign of WWI.
The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of Cambridge joined her, along with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Opposition leader, Ed Miliband, and senior ranking military officials. Thousands of people lined the streets around the Cenotaph to remember the lives lost in 1915.
George Brandis, Australia’s Attorney General, and David Carter MP, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives also laid floral tributes on the Cenotaph, as Australian and New Zealand forces were part of the mission. Gallipoli is often referred to as the coming of age of the Antipodes, giving them an identity separate to that of Britian.
At 11am, buglers of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines sounded The Last Post, signalling the start of two minutes’ silence, and hush descended upon the already solemn crowds.
22-year-old Michael Toohey read a famous verse from Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For The Fallen’: They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Mr Toohey’s great-great-uncle, Private Thomas Toohey, was serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1915. He was killed during a landing mission at V Beach, Cape Helles on 25th April; he was just 22.
Gallipoli saw 87,000 Turks lose their lives defending their homeland, as the Allies tried to take Istanbul to open up the waters and allow Russian help to reach the continent. 58,000 Allied troops died in the 8-month long campaign, which has become synonymous with poor-planning and senseless loss of life.
The Queen and Prince Philip joined the congregation at Westminster Abbey for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving after the ceremony.
On Friday, The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry attending commemoration events in Turkey also for the centenary of Gallipoli; read about it here. Today the pair attended a dawn ceremony, with Prince Charles giving a speech at Anzac Cove, Turkey, as it is known.
Featured image: Sherwood