Australia and New Zealand are set to remember soldiers from the two countries who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One.
The events throughout Saturday will mark the centenary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) at Gallipoli on Anzac Day.
It is estimated more than 11,400 from Australia and New Zealand were killed in the fighting which followed.
Anzac Day is arguably Australia’s most important national occasion.
Every year, Australia and New Zealand mark the anniversary of the first campaign, and at the same time remember all the military conflicts that followed.
Thousands of miles away in Australia and New Zealand, dawn services and other events were held on Saturday morning to mark the centenary of the landings amid tight security.
“They loved and were loved in return, were prepared to fight for their beliefs, were, like us, prey to fears and human despair,” said Australian Chief of Army David Morrison in an address at the Canberra Australian war memorial.
“It makes their sacrifice and their capacity to endure real despite the passage of time.”
More than 20,000 people in New Zealand attended a service at the national war memorial in Wellington, where Governor-General Jerry Mateparae was accompanied by Australian counterpart Peter Cosgrove.
Anzac Day affirmed “the qualities we prize: courage, compassion and comradeship, qualities which were displayed by our troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula and by our armed forces in subsequent conflicts,” Mr Mateparae said.
He described Gallipoli as “the beginning of an eight-month ordeal, an experience which was to be a turning point in the history of this nation”.
‘Heroism and humanity’
On the agenda for Saturday is an Anzac memorial dawn service at Gallipoli in addition to separate Australian, New Zealand and Turkish commemorative events.
Britain’s Prince Charles and Prince Harry are also due to attend an Anzac breakfast.
In London, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh – who is patron of the Gallipoli Association – and Prince William will be joined by senior government and military figures to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
In Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will join veterans and members of the public in marking the anniversary at Edinburgh Castle.
On Friday Prince Charles paid tribute to the “heroism and humanity” of those who fought in Gallipoli, one of World War One’s bloodiest campaigns.
About 131,000 – made up of 45,000 Allied forces and 86,000 from Turkey – died in the campaign. The fatalities included about 25,000 British military personnel, 10,000 from France.
The series of events on Friday included an international ceremony and a Commonwealth and Irish commemoration. A separate service also marked France’s participation.
Wreaths were laid by representatives including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, also attended.
Gallipoli holds a special place in Australian hearts. Many believe it was here Australians proved themselves the equal of any in the world, heralding the young nation’s emergence onto the world stage.
What was Gallipoli?
The Gallipoli campaign
350,000 British troops, 25,000 died
79,000 French troops, 10,000 died
74,000 Anzac troops, 10,000 died
400,000 Turkish troops, 86,000 died
- After a failed naval attack, the Allies tried to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul) via the Gallipoli peninsula by land assault
- The amphibious assault started at dawn on 25 April, 1915
- British, French and their dominions’ troops – including soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, India and Newfoundland – took part
- They faced months of shelling, sniper fire and sickness, before abandoning the campaign
- 45,000 Allied troops died for no material gain, although the Turkish Army was tied down for eight months
- 86,000 Turkish troops died. Commander Mustafa Kemal survived and went on to found modern Turkey
The Gallipoli invasion failed, with the Allied forces unable to advance more than a few miles inland.
A bloody stalemate ensued which lasted until Allied troops evacuated the peninsula in January 1916.
Why do Australians and New Zealanders mark Anzac Day?
- Gallipoli was the first campaign Australia and New Zealand fought as independent nations
- They joined the Allies in an attempt to knock Germany’s Turkish allies out of World War One
- But the Anzac forces barely advanced a mile inland
- 10,000 Anzacs died while 23,000 were injured, which had a devastating impact on the male population of the fledgling nations
Did you know someone who took part? Will you be attending any of the memorial events taking place to mark the occasion? You can share your family memories by emailing. Please include a telephone number if you are willing to be contacted by a BBC journalist.
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