Thou­sands remember

How the Lock­yer and Som­er­set paid trib­ute:

Gatton Star - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Thread­ing­ham tom.thread­ing­ham@gat­ton­star.com.au

IN THE cool morn­ing air, a mas­sive crowd gath­ered to remember those who have served their coun­try.

Gat­ton RSL Sub-branch pres­i­dent Les Nash said it had been one of the big­gest crowds to at­tend the An­zac Day dawn ser­vice at the Weep­ing Mother Me­mo­rial.

“We say it ev­ery year that the num­bers are in­creas­ing but they are,” Mr Nash said.

“I thought that maybe be­cause the cen­te­nary is spread over so many years there might be a bit of re­duc­tion but I be­lieve there is a marked increase this year with the crowd.”

Mr Nash es­ti­mated that about 1000 peo­ple gath­ered for the dawn ser­vice.

“It’s ter­rific and it just reaf­firms the fact that Aus­tralians are not for­get­ting our ex-ser­vice peo­ple from Gal­lipoli and from through­out all the wars,” he said.

“It is a pub­lic hol­i­day and peo­ple take this as their priority which is ter­rific.”

It was a quiet and som­bre ser­vice, with a spine-tin­gling ren­di­tion of The Last Post echo­ing through­out Lit­tle­ton Park.

Paul Montague added to the emo­tional ser­vice by recit­ing his poem, An­zac Let­ters, which is about his grand­fa­ther’s brother Alexan­der Montague, Pri­vate 65.

The poem is based on about 100 let­ters from the Red Cross, and the Im­pe­rial ser­vices, try­ing to as­cer­tain where Alexan­der was lo­cated, or died.

It took them a year to con­firm the death.

“In amongst all of that time there was this an­guish of these peo­ple in Cooma, my home town in coun­try NSW, won­der­ing where young Alexan­der is,” he said.

There were in­creased crowd num­bers across ser­vices in the Lock­yer Val­ley and Som­er­set.

PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

ON PA­RADE: Daniel King, in the seat of a Sal­adin Ar­moured Car from 1956, trav­elled from Cairns to take part in the Gat­ton An­zac Day Pa­rade with his fam­ily.

PHOTO: TOM THREAD­ING­HAM

HON­OURED: The 2017 Gat­ton An­zac Day dawn ser­vice at the Weep­ing Mother Me­mo­rial.

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