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After two years of cancelled Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli, Australians are being given a warm welcome back to Turkey as the pilgrimage to the peninsula begins.

The age-old tradition has resumed for the 107th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Preparations are in their final stages, with rehearsals underway.

Australian Army Bugler, Isaac White and Raynor Martin, from the New Zealand Army.
Australian Army Bugler, Isaac White and Raynor Martin, from the New Zealand Army. (Nine)

This year, Australia and New Zealand’s buglers, who will be playing the Last Post at services, have matching stories.

Both are attending for the first time, both visits were delayed due to COVID-19, and both had great-grandfathers who served at Gallipoli.

They are Australian Army Bugler Isaac White and Raynor Martin from the New Zealand Army.

Mr Martin’s 99-year-old grandmother gave him his great-grandfather’s medals to take to Turkey.

After two years of cancelled Anzac Day commemorations, Australians are being given a warm welcome back to Turkey as the pilgrimage to the Peninsula begins.
After two years of cancelled Anzac Day commemorations, Australians are being given a warm welcome back to Turkey as the pilgrimage to the Peninsula begins. (Nine)

“I actually had them blessed at Anzac Cove the other day and played a little sunset for him,” he said.

“That was pretty moving for me. I did shed a wee tear on the Peninsula.”

Mr White said it was “surreal” to meet somebody with a similar family story.

Organisers had short notice for 2022’s commemorations.

They were only officially given the green light by the government in early March.

After two years of cancelled Anzac Day commemorations, Australians are being given a warm welcome back to Turkey as the pilgrimage to the Peninsula begins.
After two years of cancelled Anzac Day commemorations, Australians are being given a warm welcome back to Turkey as the pilgrimage to the Peninsula begins. (Nine)

Repatriation Commissioner Don Spinks said: “New Zealanders and Australians expect the opportunity to come here, so all stops were pulled out to make sure we were prepared.”

Numbers are expected to be down, with around 500 people anticipated, a far cry from the 10,000-strong turnout in 2015.

Those in charge of the historic site say they’ve made use of the two-year absence of Australian visitors to better preserve the location.

A special commemoration was held in Sydney for two significant WWII battles.
A special commemoration was held in Sydney for two significant WWII battles. (Nine)

Meanwhile, on the eve of Anzac Day, a poignant memorial was held in Sydney on Sunday for two of the pivotal battles in the Pacific during World War II.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of both the Battle of the Coral Sea and the brutal Kokoda Track campaign.

Source: 9News

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