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Australians around the world commemorate ANZAC Day

 

May 2017

Australians have honoured the sacrifice of our service men and women at hundreds of Anzac Day ceremonies throughout the country and around the world.

Speaking at the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux in France, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Anzac Day was a chance for all Australians to reflect on the service and sacrifice of every man and woman who has served in defence of our nation.

"More troops died in battle in 1917 and more were taken prisoner than in any other year. There has never been a year when Australia lost more to war than 1917", Mr Tehan said.

On Tuesday, a dawn service was also held in Cyprus, to recognise the five fallen members of the Australian and New Zealand Forces who lost their lives while serving in the region.

During Australia’s 53 years of service to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), three Australian police officers lost their lives.

Sergeant Llewllyn Thomas, a South Australian Police officer since 1961, was selected to be part of the 6th Australian contingent to Cyprus in 1969. In July 1969, he died as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

Inspector Mark Hackett commenced with the NSW Police Force in 1963, and was selected to be part of the 8th Australian contingent to Cyprus in 1971. Inspector Hackett was killed in a car accident on the island in 1971.

Sergeant Ian Ward joined the 11th Australian contingent to Cyprus in 1974, having served in the NSW Police Force since 1966. Sergeant Ward had only been in Cyprus for five days when his vehicle hit a land mine while on a humanitarian mission for the UNFICYP.

All three officers were posthumously awarded the Police Overseas Service Medal with Cyprus clasp, the United Nations Service Medal and the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.

In the past 18 months, the UN has made great efforts to recover Sergeant Ward’s vehicle, including a 44-day manual land mine clearance.

More than 1,600 Australian police officers have served with the UNFICYP, with the final AFP officers to be withdrawn in June this year.

 

Greek Tribune

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