The year 2015 marks not only the centenary of the start of the Allied campaign in Gallipoli and the first major deployment of Anzac forces from both Australia and New Zealand, but also in June the arrival at Weymouth of the first batch of sick and injured Anzacs evacuated from Anzac Cove at Gallipoli.
At 11.00 on Saturday, 25th April 2015 - Anzac Day, the town will hold the usual Civic Service at the Anzac Memorial on the seafront opposite the Hotel Prince Regent, and all are welcome to attend. Wreaths will be laid by the Mayor and representatives of Australia House and New Zealand House in London, ex-service organisations, London Legacy and expats living or working in Weymouth.
The Morning Service at St. Mary’s Church, St.Mary Street, Weymouth at 10 am on 26th April (i.e. day after Anzac Day) will be themed on a remembrance of the Gallipoli landings and the Anzac contribution). All will be welcome.(from Carl Whitehouse)
Monday the First of June 2015 marks exactly 100 years since the arrival of the first Anzacs who were billeted at the Hotel Prince Regent, and to mark this very special occasion in Weymouth's history, the Weymouth & Portland Residents Association have made a special commemorative plaque to be unveiled by the Mayor on the wall of the hotel. It is hoped that representatives of Australia House and New Zealand House will also attend to be presented with identical plaques to be sent back to their countries.
Members of the public are very welcome to attend, and at 2pm it is also planned to lay wreaths at the Anzac graves in Melcombe Regis Cemetery. Further details can be obtained from Alvin Hopper (tel.01305 786437), and will also be announced in the local press. There is some parking on the drive to the chapel inside the cemetery.
N.B. Please note that the wreath laying ceremony at Melcombe Regis Cemetery will now take place at 10am followed by the Prince Regent ceremony at 11am as above.
The Anzac War Memorial with The Hotel Prince Regent behind.
Above: The Cross of Sacrifice & Anzac graves in Melcombe Cemetery, Newstead Road.
Left: Burdon Military Hospital in WW1, now the Hotel Prince Regent.
As well as the usual Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial, there will be a special event on the beach called 'Pages of the Sea'. It is part of a Nationwide event devised by Danny Boyle on selected beaches where a giant portrait of a soldier will be drawn in the sand as the tide goes out. Then as the tide comes in and the portrait is washed away, we say a last farewell to all the men & women who died or served in that war.
Ever wondered why the streets in Westham are named after Australia? Come and find out the vital role that Weymouth played supporting Australian and New Zealand soldiers during World War One.
You are invited to join local historians and residents for a free, informal afternoon discovering this fascinating time in Weymouth’s history. Bring along your own stories to share, delve into the Anzac history archives or simply find out more from the experts.
FREE event produced by ActivateArts, with no booking required. Free Tea, Cake and refreshments provided!