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First World War centenary: Gallipoli fallen remembered at Anzac Day service in Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:46 26 April 2015

St Andrew's Church in Hornchurch held a service for Anzac Day, the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during the First World War

St Andrew's Church in Hornchurch held a service for Anzac Day, the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during the First World War

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The thousands of men who fell at Gallipoli have been remembered 100 years on.

Kenneth Ryan, the First Secretary of the New Zealand High Commission London, speaking during St Andrew's Church's Anzac Day service, marking 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign startedKenneth Ryan, the First Secretary of the New Zealand High Commission London, speaking during St Andrew's Church's Anzac Day service, marking 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign started

St Andrew’s Church, in High Street, Hornchurch, held a poignant service yesterday to commemorate the centenary of the First World War battle, which began on April 25 1915.

The disastrous campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, in Turkey, saw British, Australian and New Zealand forces suffer huge casualties.

The service on Anzac Day, one of Australia and New Zealand’s most important national occasions, reflected the special friendship forged between Hornchurch and New Zealand almost 100 years ago.

In January 1916, the Grey Towers mansion became England’s first depot for the New Zealand contingent and was turned into the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital in July.

Among the soldiers were 102 Maoris from the island of Niue, in the South Pacific.

Many succumbed to pneumonia and four are buried at the church, including a self-declared prince.

The Anzac Day service was attended by the mayor, Cllr Linda Trew, councillors and Kenneth Ryan, the First Secretary of the New Zealand High Commission London.

Approximately 200 members of the public also turned out to mark the occasion.

The laying of wreaths at one of the Maori graves in HornchurchThe laying of wreaths at one of the Maori graves in Hornchurch

See more in this week’s Recorder.

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