Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

ANZAC Day Dawn Service, London, 2019

Posted on by royvickery |

ANZAC Day is held on 25 April each year to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand service men and women who were killed or suffered in wars and peace-keeping activities since the First World War.  It was first marked in the United Kingdom in 1916.

In recent years a Dawn Service has been held at Hyde Park Corner, in London, starting at 5 a.m., and taking place on alternate years at the Australia War Memorial (dedicated in 2003) and the New Zealand Memorial (dedicated in 2006).  In 2019 it was the turn of the Australian Memorial.  Many people, possibly a thousand, people gathered at the Memorial for service attended by the Duke of Gloucester, and consisting of readings, a hymn – Abide with Me, led by a soprano with few if any people joining in – an address given by the High Commissioner for Australia, prayers, and wreath laying before the singing of the national anthems of the UK, New Zealand and Australia, again led by sopranos with little participation from others.

2019 marked the centenary of the year in which survivors of the First World War returned to Australia and New Zealand, so it was decided that the Service would focus on these and the many difficulties which they had in coming to terms with their traumatic experiences and settling down to civilian life.

At the conclusion of the service at the Australian Memorial people were invited to move across to the New Zealand Memorial where ‘a brief cultural ceremony and wreath laying’ took place, before a Haka brought the proceedings to a close.

Some, a few, people wore artificial poppies, and all the wreaths were made of artificial poppies.

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