Anzac Day 2016

Monday 25 April will mark 100 years since the first Anzac Day service.

anzac day church steps 1916

Anzac Day, Nelson, N.Z., 25 April 1916. Nelson Provincial Museum, F N Jones Collection: 311332

Come and join us as we honour the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli and other conflicts in which New Zealand has been involved.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in World War I per head of population than any other Commonwealth nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves.

Private Charles McConochie wrote in a letter home to his parents in Nelson: “Anyone who has never been on a field of battle cannot in the least realise what it is like. We have here chaps who were in South Africa fighting in the Boer War and they say it was only a flea bite to this. It is, in plain speaking, awful. In fact it is like being in the depths of Hell itself.”

Anzac Day is a chance to remember the more than two-thousand people from the Nelson region who left New Zealand to serve in the conflict say Mayor Rachel Reese.

“The weekend of commemorations is also an opportunity to celebrate the community spirit of a place such as Nelson,” she says.

“Just as thousands of men and women joined the war effort overseas on the battlefields, many more stayed behind in Nelson working tirelessly to keep the province running.”

Founders Heritage Park will also mark Anzac weekend by re-creating the war time spirit with an old-fashioned fete on Sunday 24 April.

Anzac services will be held at dawn and later in the morning. Be a part of Anzac Day commemorations on this important occasion.

Anzac events are as follows:

“POPPY DAY” 2016
Friday 15th April.

Founders Heritage Park Old-Fashioned Fete
Sunday 24 April

6.00am – Dawn Service at Anzac Park
9.00am – Civic Service at Church steps, top of Trafalgar Street, with wreath laying and 100th anniversary commemoration of the first ANZAC Day service.

8am – RSA Marsden Valley Service at Wakapuaka Cemetery
8.30am – Boer War Service at Queen’s Garden
11am – Stoke Service at Stoke Memorial Hall