Fight at the war memorial


An unseemly fight broke the peace at the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra this morning.

In scenes never previously witnessed at any Anzac Day service across the nation, Governor-General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison came to blows just minutes before the official remembrance ceremony was to start.

The trouble began when the Governor-General arrived at the War Memorial and alighted from his official vehicle to be greeted by Mr Morrison in a full military uniform of indeterminate design. (main picture)

His Excellency, himself a former military commander and Chief of the Defence Force as well as being Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force under the nation’s Constitution, was visibly taken aback by Mr Morrison’s appearance.

The two men engaged in an animated conversation just out of earshot of other official guests which ended in a short bout of pushing and shoving before the Governor-General vigorously brushed Mr Morrison aside and continued to the official dais to partake in the official dawn service.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office later dismissed concerns about the incident and said that there had been “a slight misunderstanding” between the two men.

The spokesperson said Mr Morrison was entitled, as a great wartime leader and also father of the nation, to attend in the official military dress he had personally designed as commander of a newly designated military unit, Her Majesty’s Royal Vaccination Regiment.

The Governor-General and Mrs Hurley did not attend the official breakfast following the dawn service, preferring to return to Government House at speed.