Today marks 103 years since our ANZACs first landed on the beaches at Gallipoli in the First World War.
This Anzac Day, in the final year of the Centenary of Anzac, we also acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, a crucial turning point in WW1 which brought the German offensive on the Somme to an end.
Throughout April of 1918 Australian and British forces fought tirelessly on the Western Front to recapture the town of Villers-Bretonneux, successfully doing so 3 years after our diggers first stormed the beaches at Gallipoli. This ongoing battle was costly with more than a thousand lives lost during throughout the month.
The Battle of Villers-Bretonneux was a tireless battle on the Western Front to recapture the town of Villers-Bretonneux and would later be recognised as ‘perhaps one of the greatest individual feat of war.’
This year we also commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel, Centenary of the Battle of Amiens and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice on 11 November.
Australia’s First World War Campaign took a brutal toll on our young nation, with more than 60,000 casualties and 165,000 men wounded, gassed or taken prisoner- our story on the Western Front still holds significance in Australia today.
On Anzac Day we remember all Australians who served and died in all conflicts, wars and operational service.
This year we also remember significant World War II anniversaries, in particular the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the 75th Anniversary of the Hellfire Pass and the Thai Burma Railway.
This year also marks 65 years since the Korean War Armistice in which more than 17,000 Australian Diggers served, with 340 killed and more than 1,200 wounded.
The 50th Anniversary of the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral will also be remembered in May for their significance during the Vietnam War.
We reflect on these conflicts and are reminded of the impacts of war and acknowledge that while the nature of war has changed our commitment to those who have and continue to serve our country remains resolute.
We are reminded of the spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice, values which we still hold dear today.
Lest We Forget.