ANZAC Requiem

On this day above all days we recall those who served in war and who did not return to receive the grateful thanks of the nation.

We remember those who still sleep where they were left - amid the holly scrub in the valleys and the ridges of Gallipoli - on the rocky and terraced hills of Palestine - and in the lovely cemeteries of France.

We remember those who lie asleep in ground beneath the shimmering haze of the Libyan Desert - at Bardia, Derna, Tobruk - and amid the mountain passes and olive groves of Greece and Crete, and the rugged, snow-capped hills of Lebanon and Syria.

We remember those who lie buried in the rank jungle of Malaya and Burma - in New Guinea - and in the distant isles of the Pacific.

We remember those who lie buried amid loving friends in our Motherland and in our own far North.

We remember those who lie in unknown resting places in almost every land, and those gallant men whose grave is the unending sea. Especially do we remember those who died as prisoners of war, remote from their homeland, and from the comforting presence of their kith and kin.

We think of those of our women’s services who gave their lives in our own foreign lands and at sea, and of those who proved to be, in much more than name, the sisters of our fighting men.

We recall, too, the staunch friends who fought beside our men on the first ANZAC Day - men of New Zealand who helped to create the name of ANZAC.

We recall of those who gave their lives in the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Service and in other British and Dominion Forces, and we think of those British men and women who fell, when, for the second time in history, their nation and its kindred stood alone against the overwhelming might of an oppressor; we think of every man and woman who in those crucial hours died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.

We think of those gallant men and women who died in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Somalia, the Gulf, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in Peacekeeping Forces and on humanitarian missions, defending the Commonwealth and other countries of the Free World, against a common enemy.

May these all rest proudly in the knowledge of their achievement, and may we and our successors in that heritage prove worthy of their sacrifice.