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Anzac Day: Legion Scotland Holds 'Virtual' Service

The annual commemoration would normally take place in the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.

Armed Forces charity Legion Scotland have commemorated this year's Anzac Day with a 'virtual' service.

In Scotland, the annual commemoration would normally take place in the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.

However, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the service was broadcast at dawn on Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland's Facebook pages, to coincide with the moment ANZAC forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in April 1915.

Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally created to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and all those who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. 

Dr Claire Armstrong, Legion Scotland Chief Executive, said: "We had hoped that by now we may have been able to return to physical remembrance events, such is their importance to so many people. 

"Sadly, it is still not yet safe to do so but, as we have demonstrated throughout the past year, virtual services ensure the memory of the fallen is not forgotten, even during a global pandemic."

The annual Anzac Day commemoration would normally take place in the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle (Picture: Legion Scotland).

The virtual service was conducted by Legion Scotland National Padre Rev Dr Karen Campbell. 

Dr Armstrong said the commemorations allowed "communities to join together to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice".

"Even during these unprecedented times, our enduring message of comradeship comes very much to the fore," she said.

The service included readings from Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte DSM, Australian Army Advisor in London; Scott Williamson, New Zealand Honorary Consul Scotland; and Mrs Hatice Tuğba İkizler Fearnley of the Government of the Republic of Turkey.  

Prince William and Princess Anne have marked Anzac Day in London this weekend on behalf of the Royal Family.

Cover image: George Lambert, Anzac, the landing 1915, 1920-1922, oil on canvas (Picture: Australian War Memorial).