Australian Embassy

Press Release 2018 - Anzac

                                              ANZAC Day commemorated in Thailand

25 April 2018

Today, Australians gathered in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, as part of ANZAC Day commemorations around the world acknowledging those Australians who have served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

In the early morning, a crowd of around 1,000 attended the solemn dawn service at Hellfire Pass, paying tribute to the thousands of Allied 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, around 1,500 people participated in a memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony at the Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery.

The commemorations were attended by former Australian prisoners of war, Mr Neil MacPherson OAM and Mr Harold Martin, as well as Australian Ambassador to Thailand, HE Paul Robilliard, Chief of the Australian Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO DSC and Defence Attaché Captain Chris Smith RAN. They were joined by Governor of Kanchanaburi province, HE Mr Jirakiat Bhumisawasdi and New Zealand Chargé d’ Affaires Mr Peter Rider.

Australian Ambassador to Thailand, HE Mr Paul Robilliard said that the commemorations reflect the sacrifice and dedication to duty of all those Australians who have served overseas, including those prisoners of war in Thailand.

“The strong gathering here today highlights the enduring significance of ANZAC Day to Australians of all generations,” said the Ambassador.

“Together, with support from the Governor and people of Kanchanaburi, we recall the sacrifice and endurance of the human spirit for those who faced extreme hardship here at Hellfire Pass.”

On 25 April each year, Australians throughout the world commemorate ANZAC Day marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.  On this day in 1915, soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers – the ANZACs - landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey as part of a larger Allied Force.  These soldiers met with fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders and many of them did not return home. Although the campaign failed, the endurance and sacrifice of the ANZACs left a powerful legacy.



ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass: Australian Ambassador to Thailand HE Mr Paul Robilliard; Chief of Australian Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO DSC; New Zealand Chargé d’ Affaires Mr Peter Rider; Governor of Kanchanaburi Province HE Mr Jirakiat Bhumisawasdi; and Director General of Royal Thai Army Directorate of Intelligence Lieutenant General Warakiat Rattananont participated in the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass, Kanchanaburi Province.



Lest we forget: Australian former Prisoners of War, Mr Harold Martin and Mr Neil MacPherson OAM, laid a wreath in memory of the fallen soldiers at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on ANZAC Day.



Australian Ambassador, HE Mr Paul Robilliard and Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO DSC, laid a wreath at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on Anzac Day.

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