Tens of thousands turn out to honour the Anzac war dead on anniversary of Gallipoli
- Commemorations are held every year on the April 25 anniversary to mark the ANZAC 1915 landing at Gallipoli
- More than 10,000 New Zealand and Australian servicemen died in the failed eight-month campaign
- Gallipoli has become a defining symbol of courage and comradeship for the two nations
- Sombre dawn services were held, before veterans and their families paraded to remember those who fought
- At least 20,000 turned out in Sydney, 30,000 in Canberra and many more across the country
- No allied World War One soldiers survive - the last combat veteran Claude Choules died in 2011 aged 110
Tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders turned out today to honour their war dead, with moving tributes to fallen mates and calls not to forget those injured in conflict.
The commemorations are held every year on the April 25 anniversary of the ill-fated 1915 landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey during World War One.
More than 10,000 New Zealand and Australian servicemen died in the failed eight-month campaign, and Gallipoli has become a defining symbol of courage and comradeship for the two nations.
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With troops still being killed and injured in Afghanistan, the services sent a clear message on the need to look after the wounded and their families.
In a commemorative address in Canberra, Navy senior chaplain Barry Yesberg said those who survived war and returned home often had physical, emotional, mental, or moral wounds which must not be ignored.
'Families have to live with these veterans and their wounds and should be honoured as we do those who go to war,' he said.
In a moving tribute, Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith recited the words of family members of some of his fallen comrades.
'His death left a hole in my heart but his spirit has given me the motivation to push myself further than ever before,' wrote Keegan Locke, 17, the son of Sergeant Matthew Locke who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.
'As we go through the next few years I think we will get a sense of the full dimensions of the support that are needed,' she said.
Although no allied WWI soldiers survive -- the last combat veteran Claude Choules died in 2011 aged 110 -- Gillard said the services were more popular than ever, driven by young children keen to learn about the sacrifices made.
'The thing I always look for is the number of children, and there are just more and more and more,' she said.
'It's actually the children who are driving the next level of engagement. I think that means that for all of time we will commemorate ANZAC Day and think about who we are as Australians on that day.'
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their best wishes, saying Washington was honoured to have such strong allies.
'We celebrate the bond that Australians and New Zealanders have gained through their shared sacrifice and reflect on the virtues of hope, courage, and freedom that unite our three nations,' Kerry said in a statement.
'The United States is honoured to have such strong partners in promoting peace and prosperity in the world.'
In Wellington, New Zealand Governor General Jerry Mateparae said the Gallipoli campaign created 'an indelible bond' between New Zealanders and Australians.
'In the thick of battle, when all was at stake, it was the Australians we trusted before anyone else,' he said.
'In the 98 years that have passed, we have served alongside each other in conflict zones around the world, and we have been there when the other has been afflicted by tragedies and natural disasters.'
VIDEO Tens of thousands turn out around the globe to honour Anzac war dead
The Russians were under threat from the Turks in the Caucasus and needed help, so the British decided to bombard and try to capture Gallipoli.
Located on the western coast of the Dardanelles, the British hoped by eventually getting to Constantinople that they would link up with the Russians.
The intention of this was to then knock Turkey out of the war. A naval attack began on February 19 but it was called off after three battleships were sunk.
Then by the time of another landing on April 25, the Turks had been given time to prepare better fortifications and increased their armies sixfold.
Australian and New Zealand troops won a bridgehead at Anzac Cove as the British aimed to land at five points in Cape Helles - but only managed three.
The British still required reinforcements in these areas and the Turkish were able to bring extra troops onto the peninsula to better defend themselves.
A standstill continued through the summer in hot and filthy conditions, and the campaign was eventually ended by the War Council in winter 1915.
Turkey lost around 300,000 men and the Allies had 214,000 killed - more than 8,000 of whom were Australian soldiers, in a disastrous campaign.
Anzac Cove became a focus for Australian pride after forces were stuck there in squalid conditions for eight months, defending the area from the Turks.
The Anzac soldiers who arrived on the narrow strip of beach were faced with a difficult environment of steep cliffs and ridges - and almost daily shelling.
At the height of the fighting during the landings of April 25, 1915, the waters around the peninsula were stained red with blood at one point 50 metres out.
Fierce resistance from the under-rated Ottoman forces, inhospitable terrain and bungled planning spelt disaster for the campaign/
Among those who suffered the greatest losses were the Anzacs Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who made the first landings, swept by an unexpected current to a narrow cove rather than the wide beaches the planners intended.
War historian Charles Bean wrote: ‘That strongly marked and definite entity, the Anzac tradition, had, from the first morning, been partly created here’.
But despite the toll in human life, the campaign is seen as a landmark in the formation of national consciousness in the two countries.