Thousands mark Gallipoli centenary

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A hundred years ago to the day Australian and New Zealand forces went into a major military campaign on these shores for the first time under their own flags. It was Gallipoli, then part of the

Thousands mark Gallipoli centenary

A hundred years ago to the day Australian and New Zealand forces went into a major military campaign on these shores for the first time under their own flags.

It was Gallipoli, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

A century later thousands have turned out to commemorate what become one of the bloodiest battles of World War One.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to their legacy.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT SAYING:

“They lived with death and dined with disease because that was where their duty lay. In volunteering to serve they became more than soldiers, they became the founding heroes of modern Australia.”

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said bravery of forces on both sides of the conflict deserved recognition.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY SAYING:

“Time and perspective of history have cast the Gallipoli campaign and some of the military decisions that were made in a different light. But 100 years ago both sides were doing what they believed was right and what they believed was necessary.”

The Gallipoli campaign ended with more than 130, 000 deaths.

Over two thirds were on the Ottoman side.

Despite the bloodshed the campaign is seared in the national consciousness of Australia and New Zealand as a point where their nations came of age, emerging from the shadow of the British empire.

Tags : centenary, Gallipoli, mark, thousands

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