Wanneroo Joondalup RSL sub-branch president Wendy Tuffin said the group marched under their own flag for the first time in last Friday’s event.
‘Last year one of the Kiwis came up and asked if they could march and I said it was great,’ she said.
‘That’s something we will continue to do.’
Her husband, Brian, marshalled the parade of about 300 veterans, servicemen and women, and scouts, which preceded a service at the war memorial.
‘Veterans were down but it was made up for by the navy sending regulars and by air force personnel ” those numbers were up a bit on usual,’ he said.
‘We estimated to have about 2000 attending the service.
‘It makes the veterans’ day when they see everyone attending, especially the kids.’
Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk started her Anzac Day speech by talking about Fromelles.
‘On July 19, 1916, 5533 Australian soldiers were lost in an assault on German positions during the failed offensive that we call the Battle of the Somme,’ she said.
‘Many of those Diggers were completely lost: their graves, anonymous holes in the churned mud of northern France.
‘Through modern archaeological technology, the mass grave of 250 British and Australian soldiers has recently been discovered.
‘Among the objects found with the soldiers, was a railway ticket from Fremantle to Perth. It’s a return ticket… the returned part still unused. We don’t know the name of the soldier to whom it belonged.
‘When the fighting was over, this soldier wanted to go home, just like every other soldier fighting in any conflict, past or present.
‘We commemorate those soldiers who did not make it home, and those who might not have made it home.’
Ms Quirk said wars brought people together, whether it was soldiers who died in the same place, for the same reason but on different sides, or the ‘friends’ from New Zealand who fought alongside Australian soldiers.
She also highlighted the contribution of the Red Cross volunteers as the organisation marks its centenary, and the effects that last long after wars end, including post traumatic stress disorder.
‘(Anzac Day) is about the soldiers, the aviators and the sailors and the nurses ” it is about those who taught us to endure hardship, to show courage, to be bold as well as resilient, to believe in ourselves, to stick together,’ she said.
‘It is gratifying to see so many making an effort to attend this morning’s commemoration. On your behalf I thank Wanneroo Joondalup RSL for its continued efforts and for such a wonderful service.’
She said they would soon plan for Anzac Day 2015 and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.