Prime Minister John Key will join Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Albany, Western Australia this weekend to mark the 100th anniversary of ANZAC troops departing for World War One.
“New Zealand and Australia share a unique and close heritage. We have stood together in times of war and helped each other in times of disaster,” says Mr Key.
“It will be an honour to stand alongside the Australian Prime Minister to acknowledge the importance of our enduring partnership as ANZACs and to remember the many New Zealanders and Australians who served their nations bravely.”
The commemorative events are taking place in Albany, near Perth where the convoy of New Zealand and Australian ships departed for Egypt.
“Our partnership today, 100 years on from the Albany departure, is deeper and richer than ever,” says Mr Key.
The Albany commemorations will feature a large New Zealand Defence Force contingent including HMNZS Te Kaha, and approximately 40 personnel.
Mr Key will be accompanied by Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Veterans’ Affairs Minister Craig Foss.
“The strength of the New Zealand delegation demonstrates the importance we place on the ANZAC relationship and our wish to support Australia in its centenary programme,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key will be in Australia from October 31 to November 2.
Notes for Editors:
The New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to the First World War became collectively known as the ‘ANZACS’.
Albany is the last Australian port these troops departed from before arriving in Egypt to commence their training, and for the majority, ultimately taking part in landings at Gallipoli from 25 April 1915.
The convoy that initially left from New Zealand consisted of ten merchant ships, carrying a total of 8,568 soldiers and officers and 3,820 horses. This is the largest single group of troops ever to leave New Zealand shores.
Of those who left during the course of the First World War, 18,500 would not return and 41,000 would return wounded.
Updated on 23rd July 2015