King’s Park Dawn Service attracts 40,000 despite rain


Thousands braved the wet weather for the Anzac Day parade through Perth streets yesterday.
Pictures: Matt Jelonek and Giovanni Torre       www.communitypix.com.au   d453225
Thousands braved the wet weather for the Anzac Day parade through Perth streets yesterday. Pictures: Matt Jelonek and Giovanni Torre       www.communitypix.com.au d453225

THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Perth to pay their respects to Australia’s veterans on Anzac Day.

Despite morning rains, the spirit of the day was undiminished, with an estimated 40,000 people joining the King’s Park Dawn Service and more attending the march.

Veterans and the descendants of veterans marched with pipe bands and others to mark the 101st anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Brothers Geoff, Phil and Barry Eather marched with their cousin Jamie Wallace, all veterans of the 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Geoff Eather said Anzac Day meant “everything” to the family.

“We had five great-uncles fight in the first World War,” he said.

“Three of them fell at Gallipoli and one in France.”

Navy veterans Barry Yeomans and John Clayton said they marched every Anzac Day in Rockingham but had come to Perth to join former comrades who were visiting from interstate.

“We come to see old shipmates, old comrades,” Mr Yeomans said.

“The day is very important to us. My father, my grandfather and uncles served in the army.

“It is very important that young people know the history, that they know what was sacrificed so that they could grow up free like they do today.”

Mr Clayton’s father served in the army and his sister alongside him in the navy, where he served for 22 years.

Ann Godden and June Hicks returned to Perth for the march, where they joined together on the same day in 1962. They each served more than three years in stores.

“Back then we had to leave upon marriage. Not anymore,” Ms Hicks said.

Peter Dales held the banner high for veterans of logistics support in the Royal Australian Navy.

Mr Dales served escorting RAN ships to Vietnam from 1969 to 1971. He said it was great to see so many people of all ages take an interest in Anzac Day.