Standing at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli for the dawn service on Anzac Day is a powerful moment for any Australian. It was even more significant for Australian Army Band musician Corporal Laura Burden of Townsville, who – along with the pride of performing with the band at ceremonies at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine – also took time to reflect on her family connection to the battlefields of Gallipoli.
Corporal Burden’s great-uncle Private Richard Bainbridge Brooker enlisted in 1914 and served with the 9th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey the following year and was wounded in the fighting. He later served on the battlefields of the Western Front and was killed in action in Belgium by a sniper in late 1917.
“It is a sad, yet proud, day for me to pay respect today to Richard Brooker and all the Anzacs who fought here,” said Corporal Burden.
A family connection to World War I is only a part of Corporal Burden’s family connection to the military.
Corporal Burden, who has served for more than 18 years in the Army and is currently based at 1st Brigade in Darwin, is married to an Army engineer has four children.
She also reflected on those from her clan who fought and died in both world wars, including service in the defence of northern Australia and New Guinea during World War II.
“I am pretty honoured to be selected for this activity because of my family ties to Gallipoli and the event is even more special as I get to play music at this historic site on this memorable day,” Corporal Burden said.
The Australia's Federation Guard and Australian Army Band, working with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, conducted a solemn and poignant dawn service at Anzac Cove and a commemorative service at the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine, Gallipoli.