Dawn service held in Zonnebeke in Belgium to mark Anzac Day

(25 Apr 2024)

Buttes New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium – 25 April 2024
1. Anzac Day ceremony at Buttes New British Cemetery with bagpipers playing
2. Close of candle
3. Wide of ceremony
4. Attendees watching
5. Military personnel approaching memorial to New Zealand soldiers
6. New Zealand Defense Minister Judith Collins walking up to lectern
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Judith Collins, New Zealand Defense Minister:
“The grievous losses suffered by New Zealand in northern France and Belgium left deep scars and forged an enduring bond between our countries. It also brought grief and despair to homes across New Zealand. The vast majority of our war dead are buried overseas, the largest contingent here in Flanders Fields, and so New Zealand families learned to process their grief without bodies or funerals. After both world wars New Zealanders who could afford it visited the graves of their loved ones. They were, especially after the First World War, considered to be going on pilgrimage. For most bereaved New Zealanders however, the only pilgrimage to remember their loved one was on this day each year to attend a local Anzac Day service. That became the avenue for commemoration and the time to contemplate their loss. Here today we keep alive that spirit of pilgrimage when we remember the sacrifice of these men and women and indeed all of those who have served New Zealand in war and conflict.”
8. Attendees watching
9. Collins laying wreath
10. Attendees laying wreath
11. Various of attendees
12. Gravestone of unknown soldier
13. Wide of wreath laying
14. Trumpeters playing the Last Post
15. Wide of ceremony
16. Attendees watching
17. Military personnel in formation
New Zealand Defense Minister Judith Collins was among the attendees for an Anzac Day dawn service at a World War I cemetery in Belgium on Thursday.

Marked on April 25 each year, Anzac Day is held to commemorate the war dead of Australia and New Zealand.

Buttes New British Cemetery near Zonnebeke was where many men from both countries were buried after being killed in the fighting in Belgium’s Flanders region.

"The vast majority of our war dead are buried overseas, (…) and so New Zealand families learned to process their grief without bodies or funerals," Collins said.

The cemetery is also home to a memorial to some 378 members of a New Zealand Expeditionary Force division who have no known grave.

April 25 is the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the beaches of Gallipoli, in northwest Turkey, in an ill-fated campaign that was the soldiers’ first combat of World War I.

AP video shot by Mark Carlson


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Author: admin