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UK personnel join ANZAC Day commemoration in Afghanistan

British military personnel joined their coalition partners from Australia and New Zealand in commemorating ANZAC Day yesterday, 25 April.

A dawn service at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan commemorated Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day, to remember soldiers who fought at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

An estimated 8,709 soldiers from Australia and 2,721 soldiers from New Zealand died in the Gallipoli Campaign.

Over 250 Australians and 1 New Zealander hosted their coalition partners from countries including the USA, the UK, Romania and France and commemorated ANZAC Day at Camp Baker.

Camp Baker signage
Camp Baker signage [Picture: Crown copyright]

Acting Commanding Officer of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, Wing Commander Andrew Dickens, and Garrison Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Jake Alpert were among the representatives from the UK forces.

Australian chaplain Major Keil Maslen hosted the service during which members of coalition forces were invited to lay wreaths at the memorial site.

The names of the 39 Australians and 10 New Zealanders who have lost their lives during military operations in Afghanistan were read out by a represented spokesperson from each country.

Towards the end of the ceremony, as dawn broke across Kandahar, the last post was played and the flag was lowered to half-mast.

ANZAC Day commemorations at Camp Baker
ANZAC Day commemorations at Camp Baker on Kandahar Airfield, southern Afghanistan [Picture: Crown copyright]

Royal Air Force chaplain Flight Lieutenant Dawn Colley said:

It was a privilege and an honour to be invited to attend this service. A remembrance service is always meaningful but it felt more so in the context of Afghanistan, alongside people of various nationalities.

After the service, everyone was invited to attend breakfast at Camp Baker before they returned to their daily duties at the airfield.

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