New Zealand High Commission New Delhi, India
ANZAC Day commemorated at Delhi War Cemetery
Representatives from New Zealand, Australia, India, Turkey and a range of other countries gathered at dawn on Friday (25 April) at the Delhi War Cemetery to commemorate Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day at a solemn and traditional service.
On April 25 in 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed in Gallipoli (in present day Turkey). Thousands of soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and British India, among others, lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign. ANZAC Day has since grown to include commemoration of all fallen soldiers from Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking at the event, New Zealand’s High Commissioner-designate Grahame Morton described the Gallipoli campaign as a “hugely significant moment in the forging of New Zealand’s national consciousness and identity”.
“The spirit of ANZAC Day lives on in New Zealand,” Mr Morton said. “We continue to be prepared, as a country, to send our servicemen and women into harm’s way in pursuit of a more peaceful and prosperous world.”
Mr Morton also spoke of the shared sacrifice that Indian soldiers, as part of the British Indian Army, made along with their ANZAC counterparts in the Allied campaign –something that is commemorated with their names being etched on India Gate, one of New Delhi’s best known landmarks.
Ahead of the inauguration of the National Memorial Park in Wellington, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, Mr Morton referenced the use of Indian sandstone from Agra to construct the memorial back in New Zealand.
The Delhi War Cemetery is where five New Zealanders who died during World War Two lie in rest. Another New Zealand national who died during World War One is commemorated on a plaque there. The function this year was organised by the Australian High Commission and co-hosted by the New Zealand High Commission.
ANZAC Day is commemorated in ceremonies around the world. The New Zealand High Commission was also represented (by Deputy High Commissioner Michael Appleton) at a ceremony hosted by the Australian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka.