25 Apr 2015

Gallipoli: PM happy with security

5:18 am on 25 April 2015

Prime Minister John Key has given his approval to the massive security operation at Gallipoli ahead of the dawn service there.

John Key at Gallipoli

John Key at Gallipoli Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

More than 10,000 New Zealanders and Australians, in freezing temperatures, will be at the Anzac Commemorative Site as the sun rises.

They will remember those before them who arrived on the rugged shore, battled for their countries, and died.

Follow Radio New Zealand's live blog of Anzac Day around the world

Get updates from Anzac Day events in New Zealand

There is heavy security, and multiple checkpoints leading to the Anzac Commemorative Site and beyond. Months of planning and logistics will be put to the test.

Mr Key said he was happy with what he knew of the arrangements.

"The Turks will I think again do an outstanding job of making sure all the care and protection that's required is in place.

"We take the safety and security of people seriously and we'll be doing everything we can to make sure New Zealanders who are required to sleep on the peninsula overnight are in as good a care, and looked after, as possible," he said.

John Key and his wife Bronagh in Gallipoli.

Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh are touring commemorative sites in Gallipoli. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

John Key and his wife Bronagh at Lone Pine in Gallipoli .

The couple take a moment at the Lone Pine memorial Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

View Radio New Zealand's interactive: 'The War To End All Wars'

Mr Key and his wife Bronagh arrived on the peninsula the day before the dawn service and immediately toured sites of significance, guided by historian Chris Pugsley.

At Lone Pine, the pair stood and bowed their heads before making their way to Quinn's Post where they slowly made their way around soldiers' headstones.

They then went on to The Nek, and finally to the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair.

Mr Key said felt a mixture of emotions.

"Enormous pride, but also a great feeling of sadness and loss that so many New Zealanders lost their lives here.

"You can imagine the conditions that they faced and how terrible they would have been," he said.

John Key said the New Zealand soldiers, totalling almost 3000, died for a belief in the country and what it stands for.

Prime Minister John Key at Chunuk Bair

Some of the heaviest losses for the New Zealanders in the Gallipoli campaign occurred at Chunuk Bair. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker WIlson

Tim O'Donnell is remembered

Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell was New Zealand's first combat death in Afghanistan. He was killed on patrol in 2010.

His mother, Mary-Anne O'Donnell, has made and sent a metre-high metal poppy. It was brought to Gallipoli by Danny Broughton from the New Zealand Defence Force.

He has laid it at Chunuk Bair.

"When she found out that I was coming here she asked me if I would bring one of her poppies over, and I said yes, I'd love to.

"The stem is quite long... the significance of the black in the middle is there are 10 stems that form a circle and each stem represents a soldier that was killed in Afghanistan," he said.

"It's made of metal - so it will last and it will endure."

Mary-Anne O'Donnell made a metre-high metal poppy to be laid on behalf of her son Tim at Chunuk Bair.

Mary-Anne O'Donnell made a metre-high metal poppy to be laid on behalf of her son Tim at Chunuk Bair. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

What will happen at the Gallipoli dawn service?

The service starts at 5.30am (local time):

  • Introduction - Major General Mark Kelly Master of Ceremonies
  • Catafalque Party is Mounted - Members of Australia's Federation Guard and the New Zealand Defence Force
  • Call to Remembrance - Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Australian Chief of Defence)
  • Address - Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand
  • Quotation by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - Spoken by Turkish Army Officers
  • Hymn: God of our Fathers
  • Address - Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Australia
  • Reading - HRH Prince Charles of Wales
  • Prayer of Remembrance - Monsignor Glynn Murphy (ADF)
  • The Lord's Prayer - Chaplain Lance Lukin (NZDF)
  • Official Wreathlaying - Official Representatives
  • Ode of Remembrance - Lieutenant General Tim Keating (New Zealand Chief of Defence)
  • Last Post
  • One Minute Silence
  • Reveille
  • National Anthems
  • The Final Blessing - Monsignor Glynn Murphy (ADF)

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs