Anzac Day Gallipoli

Experience the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Although this military campaign at Gallipoli failed in its objectives, the actions of the Australian and New Zealand troops left us all a powerful legacy. Gallipoli is seen to many as the birth place of what has become known as the "ANZAC legend" and the identity of both nations. In 1916 the date, 25th April was officially named Anzac Day.

Many thousands of people now make their way each year to the Gallipoli Peninsular for the Anzac Day Dawn Service to pay their respects to those that gave so much. It is a very special and moving experience. Most people will make their way to the Gallipoli Peninsular for the Anzac Day commemorations as part of a tour group. Tour companies today offer the easiest, best and most comprehensive way of getting the most out of your visit to Gallipoli.

Anzac Day Commemorations 2025

Timings and details for 24 and 25 April have not yet been released for 2025.

IMPORTANT! Attendance Pass Registration

If you are going to Gallipoli for Anzac Day 2025 you will need to regiester online for an Attendance Pass. The Attendance Pass site is not yet running for 2025. For Gallipoli 2024 the registration site became available at the end of November 2023.

Anzac Day Gallipoli Tours 2025

2 Day Tour 2025 -Only £139 | 4 Day Tour 2025 -From £279

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History of Anzac Day

Anzac Day - 25 April - is probably one of the most important national occasion for Australia and New Zealand but why this day special to Australians and New Zealanders

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 14 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking Turkey out of the war, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the "ANZAC legend" became an important part of the national identity of both nations. This shaped the ways they viewed both their past and future.

Early commemorations

The date, 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916 and was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. In London over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets. A London newspaper headline dubbed them "The knights of Gallipoli". Marches were held all over Australia in 1916. Wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, attended by nurses. For the remaining years of the war, ANZAC Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities.

The Dawn Service

The Dawn Service observed on ANZAC Day has its origins in an operational routine which is still observed by the Australian Army today. During battle, the half-light of dawn was one of the most favoured times for an attack. Soldiers in defensive positions were, therefore, woken up in the dark, before dawn, so by the time first light crept across the battlefield they were awake, alert, and manning their weapons. This was, and still is, known as "stand-to". It was also repeated at sunset.

After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or ceremony became a common form of ANZAC Day remembrance during the 1920s; the first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927. Dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual. In many cases they were restricted to veterans only and the daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers. Before dawn the gathered veterans would be ordered to "stand to" and two minutes' silence would follow. At the end of this time a lone bugler would play the Last Post and then concluded the service with Reveille.

At Gallipoli

On Anzac Day in 1985, the name "Anzac Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government. Back then the Anzac Day services were very small affairs and held at the Ari Burnu Cemetery within the cove. From the mid 1990s the number of mainly young backpackers who made the annual pilgrimage grew and grew until 1999 when the number of people attending forced authorities to make another site. A purpose built "Anzac Commemorative Site" was constructed nearby on North Beach in time for the 2000 service.

Over the years, ANZAC Cove beach has been degraded by erosion, and the construction of the coast road from Gaba Tepe to Suvla, originally started by Australian engineers just prior to the evacuation of ANZAC in December 1915, resulted in the beach being further reduced and bounded by a steep earth embankment.

In 2003 the Australian government announced that it was negotiating with Turkey to place Anzac Cove on the National Heritage List, which included Australian sites such as the Eureka Stockade gardens. However this request was dismissed by the Turkish government as the Gallipoli peninsula itself is Turkish territory and already a national park in the Turkish National Park System.

Anzac Day Gallipoli Tours 2025

2 Day Tour 2025 -Only £139 | 4 Day Tour 2025 -From £279

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Further Reading

Why Is Rosemary Worn on Anzac Day? Symbolism Revealed!
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Why Is Rosemary Worn on Anzac Day? Symbolism Revealed!

Taking Kids to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day: A Memorable & Meaningful Journey
Discover the importance of taking Kids to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day, learn practical tips, and create lasting memories while honouring the fallen.

Taking Kids to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day: A Memorable & Meaningful Journey