ON A mild sunny Sunday morning at the Western Cemetery, with the dark rain clouds looming on the horizon, about 150 New Zealanders, Australians and members of the local community, attended the annual New Zealand Society Scotland ANZAC service.
It is a memorial to those lost 97 years ago when, on April 25, 1917, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed in Turkey as part of the ill fated Gallipoli campaign.
The appalling loss of life shocked the two young countries and each year thereafter on ANZAC Day, April 25 or the nearest Sunday to it, New Zealanders and Australians all over the world remember all those who served and commemorate all who died in the armed forces.
It was a beautiful service that was orchestrated by Mr Alister Duthie of the New Zealand Society Scotland and hosted by the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, which has acted as host for the 15 years this service has been conducted at the Western Cemetery.
A commemoration for four New Zealand airmen who were killed while serving in the Fleet Air Arm at HMS Condor during the Second World War was given by The Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, herself a Kiwi, and Mr Peter Hart.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, by Mrs Osborne; for New Zealand, by the honorary Consul in Scotland, Mr Eric Milligan, and Sub-Lieutenant Griffith, RNZN; for Australia by WO1 Stephan Cheers and WO Peter Leech; for Her Majesty’s Forces, by Major Lorraine Henderson, QARANC(V); for the New Zealand Society Scotland, by Mrs Ereti Mitchell, president; for the Royal British Legion Scotland, by Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin KCB, CBE; for Angus Council, by Provost Ruth Leslie-Melville, MBE, OStJ; and for the East of Scotland Veterans’ Association by Mr Ronald Robertson and WO2 Mark Elfverson, Royal Marines.
The Binyon’s Lines were recited by the chairman of the Arbroath Legion branch, Mr Paddy Quinlan, and 212 Battery RA(V) fired in a minute’s silence and fired again on completion.
After the Last Post and Reveille played by Mrs Clair Annan, the standards were marched past the saluting base to ‘The Green Hills of Tyrol’ played by Pipe Major Mike Thain.
Everyone then headed back to the Legion clubrooms for refreshments provided by the Women’s Section and a raffle, which was most aptly, for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Fund.