Reminder of grim reality of war

Before leading a prayer, Reverend Gunis Balodis said he would �vent some righteous anger� about the centenary commemorations before being interrupted by the thunderous Royal Australian Air Force fly past.

�Just because it is 100 years, it is not more important that it was one year later,� Rev Balodis said.

�(It seems) it�s the next big excuse for a celebration. Anzac Day must never, ever be trivialised.

�Those boys and men who died shed real blood; they felt real pain; they felt real fear as those rounds pierced their bodies.

�Their sacrifice was real; we can never, ever forget that in amongst all the paraphernalia.�

Guest speaker and veteran Peter Winstanley spoke of the history of the Gallipoli landing.

�On April 25, 1915, at 4.29am Australian troops waded ashore in Turkey in a place now known as Anzac Cove,� he said.

�This was not a campaign that would normally have involved Anzacs; they were there in support of British troops.

�You could see on day one of the battle that things were going badly.�

Mr Winstanley said it was worth considering the human cost of battle, with a quarter of a million Turkish casualties and half a million casualties for the Allied forces, plus 46,000 deaths including 7500 Australians.

The Merriwa resident said the first official Anzac Day commemoration for World War I took place in 1929, and since then services had grown to include recognition of other conflicts, such as World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

�Regardless of who wins, there are casualties on both sides of these conflicts,� he said.

Mr Winstanley commented on the �futility of war� and hoped for a leader somewhere in the world who would end conflicts.

The service included poems, prayers, hymns, Australian and New Zealand national anthems, wreath-laying, the Last Post, bagpipes and the release of doves.

Quinns Rocks RSL president Peter Lofdahl read letters from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier Colin Barnett.