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Onboard Anzac Services Inspire Western Front Pilgrimage

August 12, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Inspired by attending moving Anzac Day dawn services on P&O Cruises’ ships, former London policeman and now P&O Cruises’ onboard security officer Dave Yates will soon make a pilgrimage to the Western Front to pay tribute to fallen Australian Diggers.

Security Officer Dave Yates

Security Officer Dave Yates

When he visits Pozières in northern France next month with a group of retired UK police officers, Mr Yates will lay a wreath at the First Australian Division Memorial in an area where 7700 Diggers were killed or wounded in just four days of bitter fighting in July 1916.

On leave from Pacific Dawn, Mr Yates’ moving pilgrimage to the Western Front will form one of many ceremonies that are being held to mark the centenary of the start of World War One. Mr Yates will lay the wreath at the Pozières memorial on behalf of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises.

The First Australian Division Memorial at Pozieres“My fascination with WWI began about 15 years ago when I was a policeman in London and my boss invited me to join a police trip to walk the battlefields of the Western Front,” Mr Yates said.

“Having worked on P&O Cruises’ ships in recent years, and having participated in so many moving ANZAC services onboard, I have a particular interest in the battlefields and memorials to ANZAC troops.

“As is traditional with ANZAC dawn services, this year I intend to lay a wreath of poppies on the First Australian Division memorial at Pozières as a mark of respect to all the brave Australians who never made it home.

“The main street in Pozières is called Australian First Division Street because the village was the scene of the first large scale Australian operation on the Western Front. The Division decided to build their first memorial to the fallen on this spot due to the strategic importance of taking the village, the intensity of the fighting that took place there and to mark the sacrifice and gallantry shown,” Mr Yates said.

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