Navies commemorate Anzac Day on board last remaining ship of Gallipoli campaign

Members of the Royal Navy and the navies of New Zealand and Australia have gathered on board the last remaining ship from the Gallipoli campaign to mark Anzac Day.

A wreath was laid during the service on board the monitor vessel HMS M.33 which is in dry dock next to HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Anzac Day 2024
Members of the Royal Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal Australian Navy take part in an Anzac Day service of remembrance on board HMS M.33 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The service was led by Royal Navy Chaplain Ralph Barber and was accompanied by two buglers from the Royal Marines School of Music performing the Reveille.

Troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – shortened to Anzac – were landed on the western shore of the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25 1915 as part of the failed campaign that lasted into 1916.

Eileen Clegg, from the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) which helped organise the service, said: “Anzac Day is the most important day of commemoration in New Zealand and Australia, and HMS M.33 serves as an excellent symbol of the sacrifice made in Gallipoli and beyond.

“This event allows anyone, serving or not, to honour this sacrifice from those who lived and served thousands of miles away.”

Anzac Day 2024
Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy replace their caps during an Anzac Day service of remembrance on board HMS M.33 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

An NMRN spokeswoman said: “Anzac Day, which takes places annually on April 25, was originally commemorated to honour those from New Zealand and Australia who lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War.

“HMS M.33 supported the landings at Gallipoli in 1915, and is the only surviving ship from the campaign.”