This is hallowed ground on which we stand today. It is the site of one of the most iconic battles of our country's history.
We have come together today to remember what took place here, and to mourn all that was lost in this place.
The Battle of Lone Pine began on the 6th of August 1915 as a diversionary attack.
It was strategically designed to draw Ottoman troops down from the heights of the ridge and away from the main ANZAC objectives of Chunuk Bair and Baby 700.
Of course, the military strategy behind the charge was likely not front of mind for the men awaiting the call to attack that fateful August afternoon.
One soldier later reflected on the thoughts he had in the minutes before the whistles blew: At 5.00pm the faces began to wear an anxious look, men glancing at their watches. At 5.15 the men became restless; at 5.25 we could hardly bear the suspense. 'Two minutes to go', shouted Colonel Browne. It seemed in one sense our death sentence being pronounced. Life is very dear, even amidst death. Then the artillery ceased and the whistles blew.
With the wire cut with assistance from New Zealand field artillery, the Australians reached their objectives within half an hour, but the battle continued for days.
AIF forces fought valiantly in bloody and brutal combat to repel strong Turkish counter-attacks and hold the line. Troops used bombs and bayonets, and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting in the darkness of underground Turkish tunnels.
Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians for valour in the Battle of Lone Pine – a measure of the intensity of the battle.
Private John Hamilton was one of the seven.
Private Hamilton enlisted with the 3rd Battalion in September 1914, and he took part in the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April.
In the early hours of the morning on 9 August, Hamilton, along with others in his unit, was ordered to lay out on the parapet and fire at enemy in the trenches to assist in repelling a counter-attack.
For six hours, Hamilton lay out in the open, protected only by a few sandbags, engaging the enemy and providing direction to those throwing bombs from the trenches.
Hamilton survived the battle and the campaign, and went on to serve in battles on the Western Front, including Pozières, Mouquet Farm and Bullecourt.
He survived the First World War and served again in the Second.
When the counter-attacks ceased on the evening of 9 August, six Australian battalions had suffered more than 2,000 killed and wounded.
Turkish casualties numbered more than 6,000.
More than a century later, we stand here today in solemn respect – respect for those killed on both sides of this battle; for their families at home who grieved their loss.
We respect those who survived this battle only to lose their lives in another; and we respect those who came home forever scarred by this terrible war.
We recognise the sacrifice of their families at home and we gather today to respect the sacrifice of the individuals involved in this bloody battle.
Today, we remember them all.
Lest we forget.