Aussie government capitulate over Lone Pine fiasco

The Aussie government have been forced into an embarrassing back down over their reluctance to continue with ceremonies at Lone Pine.

Outrage over a federal government decision to pull the pin on the Anzac Day Lone Pine service at Gallipoli has sparked a backdown.

A wreath-laying ceremony at Lone Pine will take place on the afternoon before Anzac Day this year.

Incoming Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan announced the compromise on Sunday and says a formal service commemorating the Battle of Lone Pine will also be held in August.

“Holding the service on the appropriate anniversary gives it proper recognition and ensures the wider public has a greater understanding and acknowledgement of the importance of this battle,” Mr Tehan said in a statement. ?

Lone Pine was the site of some of the fiercest fighting of the entire Gallipoli campaign.

Australians attacked Lone Pine in Turkey on August 6, 1915 and there were 2300 Australian casualties and 7000 Turkish deaths. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded.

Tehan said Australians and other visitors will be welcome to attend the simple wreath-laying ceremony at Lone Pine on April 24.

On Anzac Day itself, Lone Pine will be open to visitors to lay wreaths and reflect in their own time, he said.

It is a bit of a walk up to Lone Pine from ANZAC Cove…in the early morning after the dawn ceremony and after a cold night in the open…but there are no veterans left and so it is a bit silly to have used that as an excuse that the climb was hard on them.

The walk up the track through the scrub overlooks the gullies and ridges that were fought over. The higher you climb the greater the appreciation of the difficult conditions and terrain experienced by our troops.

The climb to Chunuk Bair is even further.

That trip with Dad was something special…I am so glad that we got to go on the centenary. It was an honour and privilege.

 

– Fairfax

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