On 25 April, Legion Scotland will observe Anzac Day – an annual Remembrance of all the Australian and New Zealand citizens who have served in conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world. The date coincides with landings on Gallipoli during the First World War, in which the two southern nations were involved. 

The Gallipoli campaign – which began in February 1915 and lasted until January 1916 – was an attempt by the Entente Powers to weaken the Ottoman Empire and take control of the crucial Suez Canal transport route. It was also the first military operation of the First World War to involve the Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces. 

In Glasgow, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Anzac Day dawn service will take place at the Western Necropolis at 5am. A short open-air service will be held during which wreaths will be laid by Royal British Legion Scotland and other parties. 

A similar dawn service will be held at Comely Bank Cemetery, also at 5am, in Edinburgh. This will be attended by the National President of the Royal British Legion Scotland as well as other parties. Later, at 11am, the annual service of Remembrance for Anzac Day will be held at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh. For this event, there are a limited number of tickets available to the general public. These will be distributed on a first come, first served basis from the castle esplanade. 

While Anzac Day’s origins lie firmly with the Gallipoli campaign, the events of this operation galvanized an alliance between Australia and New Zealand. In what could be compared to the Dunkirk spirit, tales of heroism and bravery quickly spread through both countries and were absorbed into their collective cultural identities. Anzac Day has been honoured since 1916 and it has evolved to encapsulate the spirit of all those who have served in subsequent wars and conflicts.