UK Anzac Day: Prince Harry lays wreaths at London services

Anzac Day: Prince Harry lays wreaths at London services

Prince Harry Lays Wreath To Mark Anzac Day.
Prince Harry Lays Wreath To Mark Anzac Day.

Prince Harry has laid a wreath during a dawn service at London’s Wellington Arch to mark the start of Anzac Day commemorations in the UK.

Thousands of people waited in the dark at Hyde Park Corner for the service, which marked 100 years since the day was first marked in the capital city.

Anzac Day commemorates the first major battle involving Australian and New Zealand forces during World War One.

Harry also laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen at the Cenotaph.

He will later attend a service of commemoration and thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

The first time Anzac Day was commemorated in the capital was when King George V attended a Westminster Abbey service in 1916, a year after the Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli.

Since then, the services have become an important moment for thousands of expatriate and visiting New Zealanders and Australians, who honour the sacrifices of their countrymen and women in all wars.

Addressing the crowds at the dawn service, Alexander Downer, Australian high commissioner to the UK, who also laid a wreath, said: “When we reflect on Anzac Day we imagine the Gallipoli landings, what it must have been like, at dawn on the water, in sight of that rugged shoreline – and a collectively held breath, a leaden silence about to be broken.

“We consider the enthusiasm, the courage, and the heroism of the Anzac troops – ordinary men fighting for God, King and empire, for their mates, for adventure, for a world without war.”

The eight-month campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey was one of the bloodiest of the war and the allied operation was an attempt to force the Ottoman empire out of the war.