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Friday, 29 June, 2001, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Silence reigns for Anzac hero
Anzac Day ceremony
Every April Australia remembers its dead on Anzac Day
By Red Harrison in Sydney

One of the last Australian soldiers who fought with the original Anzac troops at Gallipoli in the First World War has been given a state funeral in Melbourne.

Roy Longmore was 107 when he died in his sleep last week.

His death leaves only one survivor of the 50,000 Australians who went to Gallipoli and were defeated by Turkish forces in 1915.

Trench at Gallipoli
Trenches provided little protection from heavy gunfire
For many years, Australians have regarded their veterans of Gallipoli and the Dardanells as national treasures, and the streets of Melbourne were closed and silent for the state funeral.

Roy Longmore seldom talked about his war. His first task at Gallipoli was to tunnel through the hills, putting mines under enemy trenches, and because of this, he used to say, he did not see much of the fighting - so there was no point in asking him about it.

Honoured

But Mr Longmore went on to serve in the trenches of the Western Front in France and was badly wounded by machine gun fire just one month before the war ended.

Gallipoli
One million men involved
55,000 Allied casualties
10,000 missing
21,000 killed by disease
250,000 Turkish casualties
Three years ago, France awarded him the Legion of Honour and last year, Mr Longmore was featured in a series of Australian postage stamps called 'The Last Anzacs'.

The last Anzac now is Mr Alec Campbell, who lives in Hobart on the island of Tasmania. He is 102-years old.

An estimated 10,000 people, mostly Australians and New Zealanders, have gathered at Gallipoli in Turkey to remember the fierce battles that cost hundreds of thousands of lives there during World War I.

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See also:

03 Nov 98 | World War I
Gallipoli: Heat and thirst
12 Nov 98 | World War I
The Great War: 80 years on
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