Thousands gathered in the rain for the dawn service at Brisbane’s Anzac Square.Heavy clouds and heavy hearts.
Dawn in Brisbane broke softly on Anzac Day morning as thousands of people gathered in drizzling rain to remember the fallen.
Armed with umbrellas and coffee, families, veterans and locals met in a darkened Anzac Square in the CBD to for the solemn service, which began at 4.28am.
The muffled sound of drums on Adelaide Street heralded the arrival of the Veterans Parade.
Children perched atop shoulders to watch wreaths being laid at the Shrine of Remembrance.
Heads bowed as the last post echoed into the gloom.
For first-time attendees Finn McNeil, 9, and his brother Rhys, 7, it was an opportunity to remember their great great uncle, Patrick Joseph Delacour.
At age 25, Private Delacour went to France with the 41st battalion in World War One.
He never returned.
Finn and Rhys’s parents Scott and Tracey said it was important that they teach their boys about the Anzac history.
“We wanted to show respect to the soldiers, the men and women, the nurses that served in World War One and World War Two to keep us safe,” Tracey told AAP.
“And all the animals,” Rhys added.
Debbie Radford, whose great uncle fought in World War Two, says attending the dawn service is a family tradition.
“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 said.
“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.”
Governor Paul de Jersey reminded the crowd, which filled the nearby streets and overpasses, of those Queenslanders “who sacrificed their tomorrows for our today”.
“This morning we remember the men of the Australian imperial force, crouched together in boats on the other side of the world, 103 years ago, awaiting their call to battle,” he said.
“Among those men were many Queenslanders of the brave 9th battalion, the first recruited in Queensland, among the first ashore that day, among the first to die.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was also among the special guests to attend, laying a wreath at the Shrine of Remembrance.
Australian Associated Press