The Hon John Howard, MP
Prime Minister of Australia
16 May 2002
The passing of Alec Campbell marks an important moment in the history of our nation.
Alec Campbell was the last known survivor of the Gallipoli campaign, not just in Australia but anywhere in the world.
He was the last living link to that group of Australians that established the ANZAC legend.
Alec Campbell was 103.
Of all the traditions that Australians hold dear, none is held more dearly than the ANZAC tradition. It is a story of great valour under fire, unity of purpose and a willingness to fight against the odds that has helped to define what it means to be an Australian.
Alec Campbell was typical of a generation of Australians who, through their sacrifice, bravery and decency, created a legacy that has resonated through subsequent decades and generations.
He enlisted in June 1915 at the age of 16, serving on the Gallipoli peninsula in November and December 1915 with the 15th Battalion.
I had the honour of meeting Alec Campbell on several occasions. In April 2000 he was honoured at a ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, handing over a flag that I had the privilege of taking to Gallipoli commemorations that year.
On behalf of the nation I express my condolences to his family and my great respect and admiration for the service that he gave and the legend that he helped to create. As a mark of a grateful nation a state funeral will be offered to his family.
16 May 2002