Tens of thousands of Australians have risen early to honour war veterans this morning at dawn services across the nation.
Tens of thousands of Australians have risen early to honour war veterans this morning at dawn services across the nation.

‘We honour them’: Anzacs remembered across nation

TENS of thousands of Australians have risen early to honour war veterans this morning at dawn services across the nation.

Today's Anzac services mark the 104th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers as part of the Allied assault on the Turkish Peninsula.

A decade ago, Corporal Mark Donaldson became the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in more than 40 years.

That honour came a few months after Corporal Donaldson rescued a coalition forces interpreter from heavy fire in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan.

But at this morning's Anzac Day dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, it was the sacrifices of others of which he spoke.

Those included the actions of oldest living Victoria Cross recipient, Keith Payne, aged 85.

He received the honour for rescuing fellow soldiers while under enemy fire and suffering his own injuries during the Battle of Ben Het in 1969. Corporal Donaldson said all Australians had an obligation to such people.

"We honour their sacrifice by living a good life in support of others, respecting the freedoms given us and inspiring others to build a better Australia and a stronger Anzac spirit," he told a crowd of thousands. "We should strive to be worthy of these sacrifices made for us."

Before the service began, three serving members read out passages from the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war first-hand. That came as images of troops were projected across the front columns of the memorial.

Huge crowds have gathered around the country to honour those who fought in the war.

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

Thousands of people from Sydney and beyond have crammed into Martin Place for the Anzac Day dawn service.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Governor David Hurley and the Army's second highest official Major General Greg Bilton are among those due to address the 93rd annual service at The Cenotaph from 4.30am.

"I used to come here years ago and it'd be a couple hundred people but now it's thousands," Terrance Coffey, the son of a World War II veteran, told AAP on Thursday.

"It's my way of remembering Dad. Anzac Day was the way he got together with all his mates from the war."

 

Huge crowds woke up early to remember those who fought for our country and to show their thanks in Sydney.
Huge crowds woke up early to remember those who fought for our country and to show their thanks in Sydney.

 

Another Anzac Day dawn service memorial 2019 in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield.
Another Anzac Day dawn service memorial 2019 in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield.

 

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian arrives for the dawn service in Martin Place this morning.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian arrives for the dawn service in Martin Place this morning.

 

QUEENSLAND

An estimated 20,000 people have crowded quietly at the refurbished Shrine of Remembrance in Brisbane's Anzac Square.

As more drums rolled the silence was pierced by a single man who sung out with an impromptu haka.

In his address Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey showed the crowd just a handful of more than 10,000 newly digitised photos of World War One veterans and reminded them of the ordinary lives they lived.

Mr de Jersey said that was until they travelled overseas for active service, where many sacrificed their lives.

"In 2019 we have a new way to remember the Anzacs, we can see their faces," he said.

He said that was until they travelled overseas for active service, where many sacrificed their lives.

 

People giving their respect during the laying of the wreath at the Brisbane Anzac Day Dawn Service.
People giving their respect during the laying of the wreath at the Brisbane Anzac Day Dawn Service.

A huge crowd is also building along the foreshore at Currumbin at Elephant Rock on the Gold Coast, where the ashes of 33 veterans will be scattered on the waves by crews from the local surf life saving club.

The clanking of metal fills the air as veterans and families stream in early this morning, proudly wearing their medals for the ceremony which is held in the shadow of a red-lit Elephant Rock.

 

VICTORIA

Thousands have gathered early at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, with early trains and trams packed with people eager to pay their respects.

A traditional Gunfire Breakfast will be served in front of Victoria Barracks after the Dawn Service.

The Anzac Day 2019 March will start at 8.30am through the Melbourne CBD, with contemporary veterans to be leading it.

 

 

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

An overnight youth vigil at the South Australian National War Memorial has concluded ahead of the Anzac Day dawn service in Adelaide.

Thousands have gathered for the commemoration, which began at 6.01am with the arrival of Governor Hieu Van Le and the catafalque party.

Those arriving were greeted by reflective music from navy band Barton Singers and the South Australian Public Primary Schools Choir.

 

 

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

More than 30,000 people are expected at the King's Park dawn service in Perth today, with roads closed since 2am.

Thousands more will take part in the ANZAC Day Parade at 9am, which will travel along St George's Terrace and Victoria Avenue before a sausage sizzle at Langley Park.

Extra public transport services are in place, and current servicemen and women, as well as uniformed veterans, travel for free.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Despite a fire that tore through the Darwin RSL sub-branch last June, the city's commemorations are going ahead as usual.

Darwinites have risen early again to honour the war veterans, with a 6am Dawn Service followed by a reunion breakfast at the Hotel Darwin at 7am and an Anzac Day mass at St Mary's Cathedral from 7.30am.

Thousands will line the streets to pay their respects from 8.30am while commemorations are under way.

 

Crowds attending the Dawn Service in Darwin this morning.
Crowds attending the Dawn Service in Darwin this morning.