Today, every town across the country in both Australia and New Zealand will hold a community service to commemorate Anzac Day – the anniversary of the landings at Gallipolli in 1915. No matter how large or small the attendance, Amzac Day dawn services are a simple and poignant re-creation of the ‘stand-to’ which every serving soldier on active service would be familiar with.
Our local community service takes place at the Doncaster RSL. It starts at 6.00 am, so we were up at five o’clock to get ready and attend with fellow veterans.
The service takes place in the forecourt of the RSL Hall. It follows a sequence of a simple order to Stand To, the Last Post is sounded, followed by a minute’s silence and then Reveillie is played. Wreaths are laid and then people, in pairs, place poppies on the Rememberance Plaque. After the service, a ‘Gunfire Breakfast’ is served in the hall.
We had the largest crowd this morning that I could remember – it almost spilled put over the forecourt onto the street. It was really encouraging to see such a large number of young people, both in families and as members of local Scouting organisations.