Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 25, 2012 16:12 ET

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney Marks the Military Contribution of Australia and New Zealand

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 25, 2012) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today participated in a commemorative ceremony at the Canadian War Museum to honour the fallen members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Minister Blaney laid a Veterans Affairs Canada wreath of remembrance during the ceremony marking ANZAC Day.

"Our Government is honoured to join in commemorating the service and sacrifice made by the uniformed men and women of Australia and New Zealand in defending our shared values of peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law," said Minister Blaney. "Though our countries are a great distance apart, we share the same sense of loss of those brave men and women who served and sacrificed during the First World War and in other conflicts in troubled regions of the world."

On April 25, 1915, the Australians and New Zealanders, fighting together for the first time, established a foothold at Gallipoli during the First World War. By the end of the campaign, more than 8,700 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers paid the ultimate price in trying to seize Constantinople, the capital of the then Ottoman Empire, now Turkey.

April 25 was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. It is a national day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC Day later became a day on which both countries also commemorate the lives lost in the Second World War, as well as in subsequent military operations. The day is often marked by solemn services held at dawn.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only North American unit to fight alongside ANZAC forces in the Gallipoli campaign. Later in the war, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was virtually wiped out at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

For more information on the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of the Somme during the First World War, visit www.veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649