Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh laid a wreath on Sunday 10 January to mark the 100th anniversary of the final withdrawal from Gallipoli, one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

The campaign on Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula has resonated through generations, which have mourned thousands of soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) cut down by machine-gun and artillery fire as they struggled ashore on a narrow beach.

The wreath was laid at the War Memorial Cross at the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where she traditionally spends the Christmas period. She and Philip were accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who joined them in greeting those who had attended the ceremony.

ANZAC forces landed at Gallipoli in April 1915 as part of a British-led allied force, including French and Indian units who were trying to open up a sea route for First World War ally Russia. After a failed naval bombardment, the troops were sent ashore at Gallipoli, outgunned and facing an almost hopeless strategic position. The well-entrenched Turks had the Allies pinned on the beaches, with heat and disease adding to the toll.

The eight-month campaign was a disaster. Allied and Turkish forces suffered more than 300,000 casualties, and the Allies retreated. While the Turks would ultimately lose their empire in Mesopotamia, Palestine and Syria, Gallipoli ensured the Ottoman Empire's survival – at least for another three years. The Allies' failure at Gallipoli probably extended the war, and heightened feelings among the colonials that they were poorly-led – being used as little more than cannon-fodder by their British military masters.