Trooper Morgan Formston (left) prepares to march on with
the catafalque guard at the Anzac Day Service at Chunuk
Bair, Gallipoli, Turkey. Photo from NZ Defence Force.
A Dunedin soldier led the catafalque guard at the Anzac
Day ceremony at Chunuk Bair, in Turkey, last week.
Trooper Morgan Formston, of the Queen Alexandra's Mounted
Rifles, said he was ''excited, privileged and humbled'' to
represent the New Zealand Defence Force at the ceremony.
He was also the flag orderly for New Zealand at the ceremony
at Anzac Cove.
The dawn service was marked by its ''eerie silence'', he
''All you could hear was the waves hitting the shore.''
The visit to Gallipoli, his first, had a profound impact on
''My thoughts on Gallipoli changed drastically after visiting
the memorials and seeing the ground first hand,'' he said.
''I couldn't picture how bad it actually was. We were lucky
enough to have New Zealand historian Ian McGibbon take our
contingent for two days worth of battlefield tours all around
the Gallipoli peninsula ... and after seeing the significant
areas and hearing the stories it puts into perspective the
hardship and the sheer devastation the soldiers would have
His time in Gallipoli had made him feel connected to those
who served there.
''Gallipoli and Anzac are very much a part of all us who
serve, whether army, navy or air force, so to get the chance
to go to Gallipoli was great,'' Tpr Formston said.
''You stand there wondering 'why did they obey orders knowing
there was a good chance of dying?'.
"It makes you wonder why they made the decisions they did and
you shake your head at the unnecessary loss of life by
everyone, regardless of side, who fought here.''
The visit made him ''reflect on what we have as a nation
because of the actions at Gallipoli and it seems right that
we always remember what happened here''.