Long Tan Commemoration: Cosgrove And Turnbull Pay Tribute On 50th Anniversary Of Vietnam Battle

The Governor-General and the Prime Minister have each spoken at the 50th anniversary commemoration service of Long Tan.

The service was held in Canberra this morning. It commemorated the 50th anniversary of the battle at Long Tan on August 18, 1966. Eighteen Australian soldiers from the 1st Australian Task Froce were killed and twenty-four wounded in the conflict. It is estimated that the Viet Cong lost at least 245 soldiers.

Cosgrove

The battle took place near a rubber plantation. There were 105 soldiers involved, including a contingent from New Zealand.

In his speech, the Governor-General, who served in Vietnam, drew attention to the treatment meted out to Vietnam veterans at the time and since. He lamented that even veterans organisations did not respond well to the service of Australian soldiers in the controversial war. [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”. [Read more…]


ANZAC Day Melbourne Service

This is the audio of Melbourne’s ANZAC Day Service.

The service was broadcast on ABC television. [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. [Read more…]