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The tiny Wairarapa township of Tinui, thought to be the scene of New Zealand's first Anzac Day service, will continue its tradition of honouring its dead tomorrow morning.

On April 25, 1916, a year after Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli in a vain effort to knock Turkey out of World War I quickly, Tinui held a commemoration service.

The area is dominated by a large hill, Tinui Taipos, behind the village and local vicar Basil Ashcroft led an expedition to place a wooden cross upon it to honour the dead.

The jarrah cross became the first Anzac memorial in the country and stood on the hilltop for nearly 50 years before being replaced by an aluminium cross in 1965.

In 2006, the 90th anniversary of the event was celebrated with a salute fired at the service by New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

This year, Tinui will remember its dead at a 10.30am service at the War Memorial Hall, which will open in a traditional manner with four children reading the names of the dead from the memorial.

The names include Jack Dunn, the only New Zealander sentenced to death on Gallipoli.

Dunn was found asleep on sentry duty, for which the penalty was death. His sentence was commuted to 10 days of hard labour, and he was subsequently killed during the Wellington Regiment's attack on Chunuk Bair.

His experiences are recreated in Gallipoli: In Search of a Family Story, an exhibition that opened at Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North last month.

Wairarapa artist Pat White compiled the exhibition as a journey of discovery into the wartime experiences of Dunn, his great-uncle.

During the exhibition, which runs until July 27, White will give two lectures - one tomorrow (Anzac Day) and the other in June.

Among the names of those killed in action in World War II is that of one woman - Miss M. Innes.

Mary Innes was a 29-year-old private in the New Zealand Women's Army Auxiliary Corp when she died, with three other people, in a truck accident in Egypt.

She was the daughter of George and Fanny Innes of Masterton, and her brothers farmed in the area.

Guest speaker at Tinui this year will be Lieutenant Nikki Sinclair of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and following the service quad bikes have been organised to take people up to the memorial on Tinui Taipos.

April 25 was officially named Anzac Day in 1916, but it wasn't until 1920 that it was gazetted as a public holiday in New Zealand through the Anzac Day Act.

Australia followed suit in 1921 when the State Premiers' Conference decided the day would be observed on April 25 each year.

- NZPA


On the web: The Auckland War Memorial Museum has a Book of Remembrance on its website for people to post messages on to remember those who served and died in war.