British Royals Mark 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli Landings

  April 25, 2015 at 9:18 am by

Senior members of the British Royal Family have today paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One on what is the 100th anniversary of the campaign’s start.

Queen Elizabeth was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Cambridge for a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, where she and Britain’s political leaders laid wreaths at the base of the memorial. The Last Post was played by buglers from the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, and two minutes of silence were held.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh then attended the thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey. The Queen had written a letter for the official program of the event, saying, “On this, the centenary of the start of the Gallipoli Landings, we come together with friends and partners from around the world, to remember the bravery of all those who served, and in particular those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Earlier in the morning, Prince Philip was present at St Paul’s Cathedral for the annual wreath laying ceremony, where he laid a wreath at the Gallipoli Memorial in the Cathedral Crypt. The Duke is patron of the Gallipoli Association.

The Princess Royal and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence attended the dawn service at the Wellington Arch, where the Princess laid the first wreath prior to two minutes silence.

The Duke of Kent meanwhile was present at the national Anzac Day service in the Australian capital, Canberra.

The Gallipoli Campaign was an Allied attack on the Turkish front that begun on April 25, 1915 in an effort to weaken the Ottoman Empire (an ally of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires) and redirect German troops and supplies from the Eastern and Western fronts. The campaign however was a failure, and after eight bloody months, 140,000 soldiers had lost their lives and thousands more were wounded.

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