ANZAC CENTENARY COMMEMORATED IN THAILAND

25 April 2015 On 25 April, Australians throughout the world commemorated ANZAC Day to remember those who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. ANZAC Day marks the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers – the ANZACs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, on 25 April 1915, a century ago. This year in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women and Senator for Western Australia the Hon Michaelia Cash; Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO; Australian Ambassador to Thailand HE Mr Paul Robilliard, and Defence Attaché Colonel Andrew Duff joined a gathering of around 2,200 at a dawn service at Hellfire Pass to pay tribute to the thousands of prisoners of war (POWs) who lost their lives in the construction of the Thai-Burma Railway in the Second World War. Later in the day, over a thousand of people participated in a memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony held at Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery. Australian former-POWs and war veterans were present at the ceremonies. Governor of Kanchanaburi Mr Wanchai Osukonthip and New Zealand Ambassador to Thailand HE Mr Reuben Levermore also attended the wreath laying service. “Gallipoli remains a place of great significance to Australians today because of the actions of those men both on that infamous first day as well as the eight month campaign that followed. More than 8,700 Australians lost their lives during the campaign, with over 2,000 killed or wounded on the first day of fighting”, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said in her speech at the Wreath Laying service. “Let us never forget both the heroic feats and acts of mateship that created the legendary ANZAC spirit which we, as the sons and daughters of Australia and New Zealand, proudly honour and revere”, she added. Australian former Prisoner of War Mr Neil MacPherson OAM who travelled with the Quiet Lion Tour and once worked on the Thai – Burma Railway, delivered the ex POW Address and laid a wreath in memory of the fallen soldiers at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on ANZAC Day.    

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