ANZAC DAY 2012
The New Zealand and Australian High Commissions commemorated Anzac Day 2012 with a Dawn Service at Diamond Hill War Cemetery, located near Donkerhoek, some 40 kms from Pretoria. Around 80 people attended the commemoration, where wreaths were laid by the Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Ms Georgina Roberts, the Australian High Commissioner, HE Ms Ann Harrap and the Turkish Ambassador, HE Mr Vakur Gokdenizler, as well as by members of the diplomatic corps, the Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission and South African veterans' organisations.
The service was followed by a traditional gunfire breakfast at the New Zealand Residence in Pretoria.
Anzac Day on 25 April marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in 1915. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.
Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians and 2721 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli.
It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings also meant the birth of a national identity for Kiwis, even as they fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.
New Zealand High Commission in South Africa