Bishop And Ronaldson Speak At Gallipoli And Villers-Brettonneux ANZAC Services

The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and the Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, have delivered speeches at ANZAC Day services overseas.

Villers-Brettonneux

Ronaldson, who is also the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, spoke at the Gallipoli Dawn Service and the Lone Pine Service, in Turkey.

Bishop spoke at the Dawn Service at Villers-Brettonneux, in France. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Speech To The National ANZAC Day Service

Tony Abbott has delivered his first prime ministerial address to a National ANZAC Day service.

Abbott spoke in Canberra at the War Memorial service on the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Abbott

Abbott said Gallipoli “was but one campaign in a four year war” that “still casts its shadow over the wider world”.

He reminded his audience that of 417,000 Australian men who enlisted in the first world war, 332,000 served overseas, 152,000 were wounded and 61,000 were killed. “Individually and collectively, it was sacrifice on a stupendous scale. But what was the alternative, in Britain’s time of need, and when Europe was at risk from Prussian militarism?”

The ANZAC Day service was attended by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. The ceremony was the final event of their visit to Australia. [Read more…]


Defence Minister Nelson’s Address at the Gallipoli Dawn Service

The Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, has represented the Australian government at the Dawn Service at Gallipoli, in Turkey.

In his address, Nelson said: “At this hour ninety two years ago, ANZACs were on the cusp of giving our nation its identity and place in the world, not only by what they would do here, but how they would do it.”

  • Listen to Nelson’s Dawn Service Address.

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This is the text of Defence Minister Brendan Nelson’s Address at the Dawn Service at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free.

Our anthem is a national epitaph to those whose sacrifice in peace and war, gave us that freedom.

Family epitaphs to the dead, in so few words, say so much – of love, life, loss and us. [Read more…]


Greens Accuse Howard Of Partisan Political Behaviour Over Anzac Iraq Visit

The Australian Greens claim John Howard should have taken Mark Latham to Iraq as part of his Anzac Day visit.

Senator Bob Brown said Anzac Day should be above politics. [Read more…]


Robert Hill: Anzac Day Speech At Lone Pine

This is the text of the speech delivered at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, by the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.

Speech by Defence Minister Robert Hill at Lone Pine, Gallipoli.

HillWe gather at this now peaceful spot to honour all those who served and those who never returned from battlefields like these. On this day we remember the loss of so many Australians and the grief that their deaths caused in so many homes.

Lone Pine has a special place in the hearts of Australians. At this place some of the harshest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign took place. Given a near impossible task, the ANZACs managed to capture this position, though at a dreadful cost.

The attack tied up significant Turkish forces and incidentally helped our friends from New Zealand who were attempting to take Chunuk Bair, just a few kilometres north of here. [Read more…]


Baghdad Visit: As Goes Bush, So Goes Howard … Again

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has attended an Anzac Day Dawn Service in Baghdad, joining with about 90 Australian air traffic controllers, 90 Army personnel and 53 soldiers.

As President George W. Bush did on Thanksgiving Day last year, Howard’s trip to Iraq was executed in secret. [Read more…]


Hill Lauds Commitment As 13,000 Attend Anzac Service At Gallipoli

This is the text of a doorstop interview held by the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.

Interview with Senator Robert Hill at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.

JOURNALIST:

Senator Hill, the Government puts out a travel warning and 12,000 – 13,000 Australians and New Zealanders turn up, what’s your response to that? [Read more…]


Anzac Day Dawn Service: Speech At Gallipoli By Defence Minister Hill

This is the text of the speech delivered at the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli, Turkey, by the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.

Gallipoli Anzac Day Dawn Service speech by Senator Robert Hill.

HillWe stand here this morning to remember all those who suffered and died at this place 89 years ago.

We pay homage not only to the Australians and New Zealanders, but also men from Britain, France, Canada, India and Newfoundland. We remember the brave Turks who defended this ground.

In time, we have ceased to distinguish between the loss of friend or foe – all who fought here shared a common sacrifice, and those who remember them share their legacy of courage. [Read more…]


John Howard’s Address At The State Funeral Service For Alec Campbell

A State Funeral Service for Alec William Campbell was held at The Cathedral Church of St. David, in Hobart, today.

Campbell died on May 6, 2002. He was 103 years old and the last surviving Australian participant in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 in World War I.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, addressed the funeral service.

  • Listen to Howard’s address:

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Text of Prime Minister John Howard’s Address at the State Funeral Service for Alec Campbell.

CampbellOn the very day in December 1915 that a boy soldier – exhausted, feverish and dangerously ill – was evacuated off that perilous beach at Anzac Cove, a few hundred yards away, his commanding General scribbled a brief message. “No words of mine”, he wrote, “could ever convey to readers in Australia… one half of what their boys have been through, nor is my pen capable of telling them of the courage and determination and cheerfulness of those who have willingly fought for… their country’s sake”.*

I fear today, 87 long years later, that once again mere words must fail.

In honouring the life of that boy soldier, Alec Campbell, the reflective silence of his countrymen and women and the gentle stirring of half flown flags can speak more eloquently of the respect we feel and the debt we owe to this grand old man and those he came to represent. [Read more…]


Alec Campbell, Gallipoli’s Last Survivor, Farewelled

Alec Campbell, the last known Australian participant in the Gallipoli campaign of World War I has been farewelled at a State Funeral in St. David’s Cathedral in Hobart.

CampbellCampbell died last week, aged 103.

Tributes were given by the Prime Minister, John Howard, the Premier of Tasmania, Jim Bacon, and members of Alec Campbell’s family.

Around the nation, a minute’s silence, largely organised by talkback radio comperes, was observed in public places, worksites, schools and on radio and television.

Campbell was 16 years old when he enlisted as Private No. 2731 in the 15th Batallion of the first Australian Infantry Force (AIF) in 1915. Like many others, he falsified his age. He arrived on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey on November 2, in the last months of the protracted, and ultimately futile, battle that had been waged there since the dawn landing on April 25, 1915. Six thousand Australians and New Zealanders had already died there. ‘The kid’ carried water and ammunition to the soldiers at the front. Becoming ill with typhus, mumps that developed into Bell’s palsy, and other illnesses, he was evacuated from Gallipoli during the allied withdrawal in December 1915.

As the last survivor of the Gallipoli campaign, Campbell has been honoured 87 years later in an environment he appears to have questioned. Gallipoli is seen by many as the genesis of true nationhood, an experience at the core of the country’s identity, although whether this is how those veterans would have viewed it is not clear.

A trade unionist for much of his life, Alec Campbell participated in anti-war campaigns, became active in Labor politics, joined the Fabian Society, and became State President of the Australian Railways Union. He contested an election for the Launceston City Council. After the war he worked to assist the widows and families of veterans. He joined the Workers Educational Association. Intellectually curious, in middle age he studied for an Economics degree. During World War II, he worked as a manpower officer in Queensland, enforcing wartime controls.

Regardless of one’s view of the often simplistic and jingoistic attitudes to the Anzac ‘legend’, it cannot be doubted that Campbell represented much that is good of a generation that fought in that foreign war: courage, good humour, humility and concern for others. His passing has been rightly marked as a moment of symbolic significance in the nation’s history.

  • Listen to John Howard’s tribute:

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  • Listen to Campbell’s daughter and son eulogise their father:

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  • Listen to Bugler Ashley Thompson play The Last Post at Campbell’s funeral:

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  • May 16, 2002: Government Offers State Funeral For Alec Campbell

“Their story rises, as it will always rise, above the mists of ages, a monument to great-hearted men and for their nation, a possession forever.”

– Charles Bean (Official War Historian)