About 200 people held candles at the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday morning to remember Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women who lost their lives during warfare.
The Anzac Day dawn service is held annually to mourn those members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who died during all wars that the two countries have participated in. The central focus of Anzac Day remains the thousands who died during the ill-fated landing of allied forces on the beach at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.
Colonel Lewis Coyle, head of the presiding Australian Military Attaché to Cambodia, said yesterday that this year’s service in the Kingdom had a special significance.
“One of the sons of our previous staff had paid that ultimate sacrifice,” he said, referring to 22-year-old Richard Atkinson who died in Afghanistan this year. He is the son of the Australian embassy’s former doctor Ross Atkinson, who left Cambodia in 2009.
Those in attendance, he said, included three-star Cambodian Lieutenant General Suon Samnang and new Australian ambassador Penny Richards.