The 25th of April 2022 marks the 107th anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand landings at Gallipoli (now known as ANZAC cove). The sacrifice made by both countries during the eight-month long Gallipoli campaign quickly began to symbolize the emergence of their national identity
This identity quickly became to be exemplified by ANZAC day, The National Day of Remembrance in Australia, and New Zealand.
The Kilkenny Great War Memorial stands testament to over 830 men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War. There are included on its panels the names of 20 ANZAC soldiers and one nurse (Kathleen Power), all who were from Co Kilkenny. Surnames like, Mulroney, Deevy, Dunphy, Doyle, Butler, Purcell, Leahy, Power, and Langton all bear testament to Kilkenny roots. Parish of origin include St Johns, Clara, Paulstown, Graignamanagh, Callan, Freshford and Aghavillar to name but a few.
Like all soldiers who were recruited in Ireland during the war, ANZACS were volunteer soldiers. Conscription was never introduced in Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
Each year, on April 25th, Australians and New Zealanders come together to honour their people who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Originally Anzac day was specific to those who fought in Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” and is one of the most important national celebrations across Australia and New Zealand.
Chair of the ‘Kilkenny Great War Memorial Committee’, Donal Croghan explained to The Kilkenny Observer that 123 people from Kilkenny served in the Anzac forces. Twenty-two soldiers and one nurse died.
And so, at 6.30a.m. on Monday, April 25th, a small group will gather at the World War I monument at The Peace Park in Kilkenny to remember those that had taken part in The Anzac forces.
Mr. Croghan went on to explain that “6 a.m. is about the time men of the ANZAC approached the Gallipoli beach. However, the origin is the traditional ‘stand-to’, in which troops would be woken, so that by the first rays of dawn they were in position and alert in case of an enemy attack in the eerie half-light.”
It is very appropriate that we remember their lives by hosting an ANZAC memorial dawn ceremony at 6.30 am on the 25th of April at the Kilkenny Great War Memorial.
It is hoped that residents in Kilkenny from the Australian and New Zealand community will attend, as well as anyone interested in joining to reflect remember and honour the memory of our citizens who paid the ultimate sacrifice so long ago. It is a very special event. made more spectacular with the backdrop of our famous Kilkenny streetscape.
If anyone would like to lay a wreath during the ceremony, please email Kilkennywarmemorial@gmail.com