Last Anzac Day Service for St Albans this year

Anzac Day in St Albans, 2011

Anzac Day in St Albans, 2011 - Credit: Archant

It is the final time a special service to remember the sacrifice of soldiers from Commonwealth countries will be held at a local cemetery.

There has been an annual Anzac Day Service held at Hatfield Road Cemetery for many years, commemorating the soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries in the First World War who came to St Albans for medical treatment.

However, this year will be its last because many of the veterans have now passed away.

It has been over 100 years since the first Anzac Day. The Mayor of St Albans will attend St Albans’ final service, as well as representatives from abroad, veterans from various military associations and local cadet forces.

The service is held at that cemetery because soldiers from the Commonwealth are buried there. Canon Rev Tony Hurle will lead the service and a short address will be given by Rev Andrew Prout of Hatfield Road Methodist Church.

St Paul’s Church administrator, Helen Chilton, said: “For many years there has been an annual Anzac Day Service at Hatfield Road Cemetery where we remember those who fought in the two world Wars from Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries, particularly those who came to St Albans for medical treatment, mainly during World War One, and who died from their injuries and are buried in Hatfield Road Cemetery.”

She added: “Sadly it will be the last one held in St Albans as many of the veterans have died and it was felt it was good to draw it to a close with a final service.”

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Although St Albans’ service is on April 15, Anzac Day internationally is on April 25 to mark the 1915 date when the First Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Army troops both landed on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula at about dawn.

Just the next year, in 1916, Brisbane citizens voted unanimously to establish the commemoration day.

People are invited to gather before the service at the cemetery entrance at 2.45pm, before marching down to the war memorial for the 30 minute ceremony. Afterwards there will be light refreshments at St Paul’s.

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