World

Thousands honor fallen soldiers 100 years after dawn landings of WWI Gallipoli campaign

  • A British Royal Navy officer of the HMS Bulwark assault ship rests prior to a ceremony at the Helles Memorial in the Gallipoli peninsula, Friday, April 24, 2015. The Helles Memorial, built in 1924 and bearing more than 21,000 names serves the dual function of Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign and place of commemoration for many of those British and Commonwealth servicemen who died there and have no known grave. As world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    A British Royal Navy officer of the HMS Bulwark assault ship rests prior to a ceremony at the Helles Memorial in the Gallipoli peninsula, Friday, April 24, 2015. The Helles Memorial, built in 1924 and bearing more than 21,000 names serves the dual function of Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign and place of commemoration for many of those British and Commonwealth servicemen who died there and have no known grave. As world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prince Harry looks around as he attends the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015, as world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    Britain's Prince Harry looks around as he attends the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015, as world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Turkish army's aerobatic demonstration team, the Turkish Stars, perform with their supersonic jets during the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015. As world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    The Turkish army's aerobatic demonstration team, the Turkish Stars, perform with their supersonic jets during the Turkish International Service at Mehmetcik Abide in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, Friday, April 24, 2015. As world leaders gather with the descendants of the fighters in Gallipoli, the memories of one of the most harrowing campaigns of the 20th century have come surging back to life. The doomed Allied offensive to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war, resulted in over 130,000 deaths on both sides. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

As dawn broke, families of soldiers, leaders and visitors gathered near former battlefields, honoring thousands of Australians and New Zealanders who fought in the World War I Gallipoli campaign on the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated British-led invasion.

Britain's Prince Charles and the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand spoke of the soldiers' heroism on Saturday, in an emotional ceremony marking the centennial of the dawn landings by Australian, New Zealand and other Allied troops on this peninsula.

The landings at Gallipoli marked the start a fierce battle that lasted for eight months. Around 44,000 Allied troops and 86,000 Ottoman soldiers died.

The doomed offensive aimed to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and take the Ottomans out of the war.