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ANZAC Day 2014 Draft Program in Belgium
Please find below the draft ANZAC Day program in Belgium for Friday 25th April, 2014, with accompanying notes and weblinks. Please note the program is subject to change and you are advised to regularly check the Embassy's website in the lead-up to ANZAC Day.
Joint Australia/New Zealand Dawn Service - Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke
Includes: Prayers, welcome addresses, call to commemoration, music, ANZAC Remembrance ANZAC Dedication, dedication of wreaths, wreath laying, Ode of Remembrance, volley by firing party, Last Post, reveille, playing of national anthems, final blessing and benediction, laying of commemorative wooden crosses on graves and participation by the Australian Defence Force Singers and Australian Federation Guard Catafalque Party.
Duration: approx. 35 minutes
Location: Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Address: Polygon Wood
Notes: The commune of Zonnebeke is expected to again provide a free shuttle service Zonnebeke-Buttes New British Cemetery-Zonnebeke. Members of the public attending the Dawn Service at 6am are strongly advised to make use of this service because parking near the cemetery is very restricted. It starts from 5.30 am and leaves very ten minutes from the Zonnebeke Chateau. The Dawn Service will be followed by a breakfast for all in Zonnebeke starting from 7:30am.
Polygon Wood is a large wood south of Zonnebeke which was completely devastated in the First World War. On top of the butte is the Battle Memorial of the 5th Australian Division, which captured it on 26 September 1917. The Buttes New British Cemetery is an irregular front-line cemetery established between August 1917 and April 1918, and used again in September 1918. There are 2,108 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Buttes New British Cemetery.
Wreath laying ceremony - Municipal War Memorial, Zonnebeke
Includes: Wreath laying and sounding of Aux Champs
Duration: approx. 10 minutes
Location: Municipal War Memorial, Zonnebeke
Address: In front of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk church
Notes: Following this ceremony the official party will move to Tyne Cot, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s largest cemetery.
Tyne Cot Commemoration Service - Zonnebeke
Includes: Prayers, welcome addresses, ANZAC Dedication, ANZAC Remembrance, music, wreath laying, Ode of Remembrance, volley by firing party, reveille, singing of national anthems and particiption by the Australian Defence Force Singers and Australian Federation Guard Catafalque Party
Duration: approx. 30 minutes
Location: Tyne Cot Cemetery
Address: Vijfwegenstraat 1
Notes: 'Tyne Cot' or 'Tyne Cottage' was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. Five or six German blockhouses, or pill-boxes, were built around it and overlooked the surrounding countryside. As such, it was strategically important to both sides fighting in the area. The area was captured by the 3rd Australian Division and the New Zealand Division on 4 October 1917 in the advance on Passchendaele. A Cross of Sacrifice (common to CWGC cemeteries) was built on top of a German pill box in the centre of the cemetery. At is base is a memorial plaque to the 3rd Australian Division. There are 1353 Australian graves in what is the largest British and Commonwealth war cemetery in the world.
The Tyne Cot Memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery and commemorates nearly 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died in the Ypres Salient after 16 August 1917 and whose graves are not known. The memorial stands close to the farthest point in Belgium reached by Commonwealth forces in the First World War until the final advance to victory
Joint Australian/New Zealand Procession and Menin Gate Service - Ieper/Ypres
Includes: Procession to Menin Gate, welcome address, prayers, music, Last Post, Ode of Remembrance, wreath laying, reveille and singing of national anthems and particpation by the Australian Defence Force Singers and Australian Federation Guard Catafalque Party
Duration: approx. 25 minutes
Location: Ieper/Ypres Town Hall and Menin Gate
Address: Grote Markt/Meenestraat
Notes: In Ieper/Ypres, the Australian delegation will meet the New Zealand delegation and local officials. All will march in procession from the Cloth Hall to the Menin Gate for an ANZAC Day Service with the Last Post ceremony, and then to the Belgian War Memorial.
Wreath laying ceremony Belgian War Memorial - Ieper/Ypres
Includes: Procession to Belgian War Memorial, wreath laying and music
Duration: approx. 20 minutes
Address: Behind Cloth Hall
Ploegsteert Toronto Avenue Cemetery Commemoration Service - Comines-Warneton
Includes: Prayers, welcome addresses, ANZAC dedication, ANZAC Remembrance, music, wreath laying, Ode of Remembrance, volley by firing party, reveille and singing of national anthems, laying of commemorative wooden crosses on graves and particpation by the Australian Defence Force Singers and Australian Federation Guard Catafalque Party.
Duration: approx. 30 minutes
Location: Toronto Avenue Cemetery
Address: Ploegsteert Wood
Notes: Toronto Avenue Cemetery in Ploegsteert is the only all Australian cemetery in Belgium, and one of only two on the entire Western Front (the other being VC Corner Cemetery in France). It contains 78 graves of officers and men of the 9th Brigade (3rd Australian Division) who died in the Battle of Messines between 7 and 10 June 1917. The cemetery was established by the Australian 3rd Division with the onset of the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917.
Toronto Avenue is nestled in Ploegsteert Wood and is reached by walking along a rough, at times muddy, path. The public are asked to remain outside the walls of the very small cemetery for the duration of the service. There is no parking nearby and members of the public wishing to attend the commemoration service are strongly advised to make use of the free shuttle service provided by the authorities of Comines-Warneton. This shuttle service starts at 3pm from the Place de Ploegsteert, where parking space is available in the vicinity.
Nightly Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate - Ieper/Ypres
Includes: Last Post ceremony with the Australian Defence Force Singers and Australian Federation Guard Catafalque Party particpating.
Location: Menin Gate
Notes: The Last Post is the traditional final salute to the fallen. Buglers from the Last Post Association have sounded this nightly act of homage at the Menin Gate since 1928. They have done so to honour the memory of the soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies, who died in the Ypres Salient during the First World War.
The Last Post was a bugle call played in the British Army (and in the armies of many other lands) to mark the end of the day's labours and the onset of the night's rest. In the context of the Last Post ceremony (and in the broader context of remembrance), it has come to represent a final farewell to the fallen at the end of their earthly. For more information on the Last Post Association click here.