The annual ANZAC commemoration, which honours all Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) servicemen and women who have served and died in conflicts and peacekeeping operations, was held in Arbroath’s Western Cemetery on Sunday.
Major David Findlay gave the introduction, followed by a welcome from Mrs Ereti Mitchell, President of the New Zealand Society Scotland.
The rain held off as the names and brief details of the four ANZAC airmen who lost their lives in Angus during WWII were read out by Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne and crosses were placed on the graves of the fallen by Julia and Alexander Bond.
The ANZAC address was given by Sqn Ldr Justin Filmer of the Australian Defence Force.
He said: “For New Zealanders and Australians, ANZAC is our own day.
“The ANZACS command and deserve the respect and remembrance of present and future generations regardless of race, colour or creed.
“We remember on this day those who fell in both world wars, in conflicts in Korea, Malaysia, Borneo and Vietnam, and more recently, Afghanistan.
“Duty, patriotism, individual sacrifice and the affirmation of the Australian and New Zealand relationship, are the enduring legacies of Gallipoli, and all subsequent conflicts involving our two nations.”
The thoughtful reflections of New Zealander Peter Leslie, who along with the Arbroath Branch of Legion Scotland, has ensured that ANZAC day is observed each year in Angus, were relayed to a large crowd – believed to be the biggest in the event’s 20 year history.
Mr Leslie’s speech, delivered by Mr Richard Gregan, reflected on an experience during a previous ceremony: “One year, as we stood in silence to remember our war dead, I had a sense that something was above us which made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
“I looked up to see a glider in a silent low flypast directly above the sword of sacrifice as it approached the Condor runway.
“Some would say it was coincidence, but to me it was the spirit of four fine young Kiwis with us at that moment.”
New Zealand’s Honorary Consul to Scotland, Sir Neil McIintosh gave the prayer of remembrance for the fallen, before wreaths were laid at the sword of sacrifice on behalf of HM the Queen, the New Zealand High Commission, Australian Defence Force, 45 Commando, Legion Scotland, elected representatives, the New Zealand Society Scotland.
A minute’s silence was observed, marked at the beginning and end by an artillery gun salute by 212 Battery, Royal Artillery.
Organisations taking part included 212 Battery Royal Artillery, Arbroath Branch of the Legion Scotland, Arbroath Instrumental Band, the New Zealand Society Scotland, along with Air and Army cadets.
Anzac commemorations are traditionally held on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps suffered an appalling loss of life after the Turkish landings.