Anzac Day: Thousands attend dawn services around the country

Crowds flock to Sydney CBD for dawn service

Thousands of people gathered in central Sydney to commemorate Anzac day.

Photos of diggers were projected onto Charles House in Sydney’s Martin Place, outside which hundreds have already gathered in readiness to pay tribute to Australia’s servicemen and women.

Families with young children are among those to have come to the Cenotaph for this year’s Anzac Day dawn service in the city.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian read a poem at the ceremony, while Air Vice Marshall Steven Robertson will deliver the commemorative address.

Authorities have assured the public there’s no specific terror threat to Anzac services in NSW. Source: AAP
People gather around the Cenotaph after a dawn service on Anzac day in Sydney, Australia April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Later on Wednesday, female veterans will lead the march in Sydney for the first time to mark 103 years since Anzac troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.

Steel bollards have been positioned along the Sydney CBD march route while CCTV and airport-style bag checks will be utilised. Uniformed and plainclothes police will patrol the streets.

In another first, RSL NSW will fundraise for the 2018 Invictus Games after president James Brown announced in 2017 the charity would stop fundraising for itself following a scandal over the misuse of funds.

The games are a Paralympic-style sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

Ex-soldiers attend Melbourne’s dawn service

A bugler plays the Last Post during a dawn service on Anzac Day. Source: AAP
Thosands, including children, are at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance for the dawn service. Source: AAP

Former soldiers were among the thousands of people who poured into the Shrine for Wednesdays dawn service.

Despite serving in the army for six years, ex-soldier Chris Walters still struggles to see Anzac Day as for him.

“I still never see today as respect to me … I still think of my grandfather (who) served, my dad was in the RAAF for 20 years,” he told AAP at the Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.

Anzac crowds pack in for Canberra service

In the cold and darkness, crowds flocked to the National War Memorial in Canberra for a dawn service commemorating the Anzacs and those who followed.

Up to 50,000 people were expected to attend the service.

Former opposition leader Kim Beazley delivered the formal commemorative address while one of Australia’s last Rats of Tobruk, 97-year-old Bob Semple also spoke.

 

Crowds are seen ahead of the dawn service at the National War Memorial in Canberra on Wednesday morning. Source: AAP


Hundreds of former Australian Army Apprentices were among the crowds – they’ll mark the 70th anniversary of their formation by leading the march later in the morning.

Jeff Ward, a transport officer who served for more than 20 years, is among them with his wife Cathy, who served as a nurse.

“There’s 800 of us, more than 800 now. It’s out of control,” Mr Ward said.

It’s expected to be the largest contingent leading a march in several years.

Twelve hour vigil held at Adelaide memorial

A 12-hour overnight vigil held at the South Australian National War Memorial by representatives from local youth groups ended early on Wednesday morning.

People arriving for the service are being greeted by reflective music sung by the Barton Singers and the South Australian Primary Schools Choir.

(L-R) Veterans Ledy Rowe, Lucy Wong, Alison Gillam, Kellie Dadds and Jan-Maree Ball are seen at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Friday, November 17, 2017. Adelaide’s servicewomen will march together for the first time this Anzac Day as part of an effort to broaden the public’s perception of veterans. Source: AAP

The service began at 6.01am local time with the arrival of Governor Hieu Van Le, his wife, and the catafalque party.

The crowd will be addressed by Ian Smith, chair of the RSL South Australia’s Anzac Day committee, with various politicians and representatives due to lay wreaths.

Thousands brave rain for Brisbane services

Thousands of people have started gathering in drizzling rain in Brisbane’s CBD for the dawn service.

Armed with umbrellas and coffees, the crowds filled Anzac Square and the surrounding overpasses to honour those who fought and died at war.

Debbie Radford, from Brisbane, said it’s an important tradition to remember the sacrifices made by many Australians, including her great uncle, who fought in World War II.

Eight year-old Henry Case and his grandfather Michael Case attend Anzac Day commemorations in Brisbane, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Source: AAP
Thousands gathered in the rain for the dawn service at Brisbane’s Anzac Square. Source: AAP

“We started attending the dawn services a number of years ago with our children and we were fortunate enough to go to Gallipoli in 2015 to go to the dawn service there. It was amazing what those young men went through,” she told AAP.

“I think it’s part of our history, I think it’s something we need to keep telling our children and our grandchildren – it’s who we are, it’s part of us.”

Record crowds expected for Perth

A record crowd is expected at Perth’s annual parade through the city.

Roughly 50,000 people are expected to flock to Kings Park for the state’s biggest dawn service.

War veteran J.J Wade, who is 100-years-old, will join the Australian Defence Force in the march down St Georges Terrace

“You have to keep it up and let people know what has happened in the past,” he said.

A series of smaller services will also be held across the city including one at Monument Hill in Fremantle.

Record crowds are tipped to attend the main dawn service in Perth. Source: AAP

Hundreds brave the cold at Hobart Cenotaph

Hundreds of people gathered at the Hobart Cenotaph to commemorate Anzac Day at the annual dawn service.

Rugged up on a cool Wednesday morning, the crowd paused to remember Australia’s servicemen and women at the Queens Domain which overlooks Hobart.

“This is only one day a year when we all take time to remember. It’s not much to give up,” Paul Thompson, 57, whose dad served with the British Royal Navy in World War Two, said.