25 Apr 2013

Anzac services held in Australia

10:48 am on 25 April 2013

Australians attended dawn services en masse to commemorate Anzac Day and pay tribute to soldiers who fought and died in war.

The services mark the 98th anniversary of the first landings by Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in 1915.

About 40,000 people were at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. The crowd fell silent as the Last Post was played.

AAP reports young people were a big part of the service with year 11 student Kate Mani reciting the poem In Flanders Fields.

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, read letters from serving soldiers.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined about 15,000 people in commemorations at Townsville in north Queensland.

The ABC reports it was the first time in more than 50 years that a prime minister has attended a dawn service there.

She laid a wreath as the crowd reflected on the seven soldiers who lost their lives since last Anzac Day.

Ms Gillard will also attend the city's Anzac Day parade later in the day.

More than 5000 were at the dawn service in Adelaide, South Australia, and Martin Place in Sydney, where the Cenotaph is located, was packed.

Martin Place was a recruitment base during World War I and was the site for Australia's first dawn service in 1927.

AAP reports wreaths were laid by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, state Opposition Leader John Robertson and federal MP Tanya Plibersek.

The Gallipoli campaign cost the lives of 7594 Australians and 2721 New Zealanders. Turkey lost 87,000 men during the campaign.