x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Anniversary of Gallipoli draws expats to remember war dead

Expatriate Australians and New Zealanders gather to commemorate the war dead from the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War.

Abu Dhabi // Expatriate Australians and New Zealanders gathered at dawn yesterday to commemorate the war dead from the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War. More than 400 took part at the residence of the Australian ambassador, Jeremy Bruer, who said the battle played a fundamental role in shaping national identity. "Increasing numbers of Australians are coming to acknowledge the implications of Gallipoli," he said.

The battle, which took place in 1915, resulted in heavy losses for the Australian and New Zealand forces, who fought under the British banner. In all, about 40,000 Allied soldiers are believed to have died. "It was a significant part of our history," Mr Bruer explained. "It was an important event in the building of a nation." The dawn commemoration traditionally takes place on April 25, which was the first day of the campaign. The battle lasted more than eight months, with Turkish forces suffering nearly 100,000 fatalities before the Allied troops retreated.

An additional family service was also held at sunset at The Club. It was organised by Aussies Abroad, an expatriate association in the UAE. jgerson@thenational.ae