Veterans of the Battle of El Alamein have described the deaths of 4,000 Allied troops, as they marked the 70th anniversary of their first major World War against the Germans under the command of General Montgomery.
An evensong service at Westminster Abbey in London commemorated the seven decades since the battle in North Africa, which was said to be the turning point for the Allies in the Second World War.
About 40 British and Australian veterans, many of whom are now in their 90s and families of the fallen, were part of a 500-strong congregation to remember those who fought in the 14-day battle.
Watch this report from Lee Comley.
Major Freddie Salinger, 94, who served with the Royal Artillery Medium Regiment, was attacked by a dive bomb in which four men from his troop died. Speaking before the memorial service, Major Salinger said:
Major Frederick Hunn, who is 93 tomorrow on October 28, fought in the Battle of El Alamein with the Duchess of Cornwall's father, Major Bruce Shand, in the 12th Royal Lancers.
He talked about the retaliation ordered by Gen Montgomery on October 23 when nearly 1,000 guns pointed at the German positions were fired at once.
Under the leadership of General Montgomery, nearly 200,000 British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, British Indian, Free French and Greek Forces defeated the Axis powers.
At the time of the battle, which started on October 23, 1942 and ended on November 4, the Allies were fighting to keep their crucial supply lines open from the Mediterranean to the East.
German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had inflicted heavy defeats on Allied forces in Africa forcing them back to the village of El Alamein, about 60 miles west of Alexandria.
Eventually on October 23 General Montgomery ordered the retaliation with almost 900 guns levelled at the German positions to be discharged at once.
While previously the Suez Canal was threatened, and with it Allied access to the rich oilfields of the Middle East, now the Allies were able to press their advantage and eventually push the Germans and Italians from Africa.
Recalling the importance of the Allied victory at the Battle of El Alamein, which began on October 23, 1942 and ended on November 4, Sir Winston Churchill said: