Thursday, April 25, 2013 » 10:06am – A parade of 20,000 serving and former defence force personnel is setting off in Sydney, 98 years to the day since the landings at Gallipoli.
Marchers and bands gathered around Martin Place on Thursday for the 9am (AEST) start of the Anzac day Parade, which will pass the Cenotaph before heading up George Street and on to Hyde Park.
With no surviving World War I diggers to take part this year, those who served will be represented by a memorial horse and the flags of units that fought in that conflict.
NSW Governor Marie Bashir will lead the parade that features more than 45 military, cadet, college and school bands.
Former Defence Force chief General Peter Cosgrove, chair of the NSW Centenary Committee, will march with the 9th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
‘I’ll get in the ranks with the boys and we sort of shuffle around … I’m always more focussed on the bloke in front because you’ve got to stay in step, that’s sometimes a challenge,’ he told the Seven Network.
Before 8am, Adele Dye was in her deckchair by the Queen Victoria Building, waiting to watch the parade and wave to her 87-year-old father Don Amery, who served in minesweepers during World War II.
‘We usually camp around the Town Hall so I can say Queen Victoria’s looking down on us,’ she said.
‘I’ve got my possie, I’m rugged up and I’ve got my knitting,’ she said as veterans in beards, berets and blazers headed past to join the march with newly-polished medals on their chests.
During the parade there will be flyovers of RAAF Hawk fighter trainer and aircraft from the Historical Aircraft Society.
Telstra Bogpond News reel available here; http://bigpondvideo.com/NewsOnDemand/540437/