Thursday, May 23, 2024

NZDF Gallipoli contingent finds full voice for ANZAC Day 

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Gallipoli contingent says it is now in a position to fully proceed with ceremonial roles in Anzac Day commemorations at both the Dawn Service and Chunuk Bair.

The contingent arrived in Türkiye last week but weather-related disruptions at Dubai Airport meant only 41 out of 57 checked luggage items arrived at the team’s hotel on Tuesday evening. 

“We are short of band equipment and ceremonial uniforms, including lemon squeezer hats, but contingent members who don’t have ceremonial roles have generously given their uniform items to those that do,” said NZDF Gallipoli lead John McLeod.

“With a bit of swapping and resizing we have got there.”

Mr McLeod said the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had been very supportive, with one of its band members loaning a bugle to the New Zealand  bugler to perform the Last Post.

The ADF will also provide a band at Chunuk Bair for the New Zealand service.

“All our team, including those without uniforms will participate in the Chunuk Bair service,” Mr McLeod said.

“They, like us all, want to be part of a special occasion which remembers those who served at Gallipoli. The vicinity of the commemoration is where more than a thousand New Zealanders died between 8 and 10 August 1915.

“It has been a case of coming up with solutions to each problem and the contingent have done this really well collectively. Morale is high and we have a very positive attitude towards making the commemorations a fitting tribute to those who have walked this ground before us.”  

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