Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance

Thankful applause, gushing gratitude at Brisbane Anzac march

Proud grandfather and returned serviceman Brian Wade with granddaughter Heaven Hales, 7, at the Brisbane Anzac Day parade. Heaven wears her great grandfather's medals.
Proud grandfather and returned serviceman Brian Wade with granddaughter Heaven Hales, 7, at the Brisbane Anzac Day parade. Heaven wears her great grandfather's medals. Ava Benny-Morrison

BRIAN Wade stands proudly on the edge of George St in Brisbane, waiting patiently for his turn to march with his granddaughter by his side.

Like her 68-year-old grandfather, seven-year-old Heaven Hales, too, wears a chest of medals, keeping the memory of her great grandfather alive.

Heaven's great grandfather and Mr Wade's father received medals from his time in Burma and a defence medal.

"I tell them (children and grandchildren) this is the most important day of the year," an emotional Mr Wade said.

"Australia is a free country because of these men and women and we are all to be proud of it."

Mr Wade was one of thousands of past and present military personnel who marched around the Brisbane CBD on Thursday to the sound of thankful applause and gushing gratitude.

Queensland's largest Anzac event saw groups from across Queensland, including marching bands, returned servicemen associations and girl guides, snaking their way through the blocked-off streets.

Super Hornet jets screamed overhead as families and friends watched on.

"It gets bigger and better every year," Mr Wade, who served in Vietnam and Malaysia-Singapore as a medical assistant, said.

"In the 80's when I got discharged, you would never have got this crowd."

Even animals turned out to pay their respects.

Coll Starry and Tuppy dog raise awareness about service dogs at the Anzac Day parade in Brisbane.
Coll Starry and Tuppy dog raise awareness about service dogs at the Anzac Day parade in Brisbane. Ava Benny-Morrison

Border collie kelpie cross Tuppy sported his own hat with his owner, Coll Starry, at the parade.

Mr Starry said Tuppy walked in the Brisbane parade in 2008, leading the way for service dogs to march in the following years.

Mr Starry, from Brisbane, initially attended the annual march to pay homage to his uncle, Private Norman Henry Irwin, who was killed in action days after his 19th birthday on the Kokoda Trail in 1942.

Wearing his own army-inspired apparel, Mr Starry admitted his dress attracted attention, allowing him to tell people about his uncle.

"It's my way of cementing his memory so many people get to know what he did and the sacrifice he made," he said.

Mr Starry also seizes the endless opportunities brought on by dog pats from children and servicemen alike to raise awareness about service dogs.

Earlier in the day, about 18,000 people gathered around the Shrine of Remembrance in Brisbane for a dawn service.

A smaller turnout was recorded at Elephant Rock on the Gold Coast, where the crowd watched the sunrise as the Last Post sounded.



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