Anzac Cove service an eerie, emotional occasion
At the foot of the steep hillsides where Anzac soldiers found themselves at the mercy of Turkish machine guns, 10,000 kept a vigil through the bitterly cold night.
Dawn break grew closer and the silence blanketed the frigid shoreline, as New Zealanders and Australians remembered the young men who crashed ashore 100 years ago.
As the sun rose over the Gallipoli peninsula, the Reveille rang out, punctuating the eerie quiet.
Just over 2000 flag-draped Kiwi pilgrims - aged between 18 and 92 - waited through the long night where temperatures hovered just above freezing. They had won a place in a nation-wide ballot.
At 4am the towering cliffs were lit up as the local Gallipoli choir sang. Finally, the service began at 5.30am with the mounting of the Catafalque Party - a guard of honour formed over a coffin.
Prime Minister John Key addressed the still crowd, telling them that he would not say: "Lest we forget."
"After one hundred years we can say, on this day April 25, 2015, 'We remember'."
The service was taking place in "a place of courage and heroism and duty" but "also a place of fear and waste and loss."
Gallipoli is a byword for "the best characteristics of Australians and New Zealanders," he said.
But the generosity of Turkey in welcoming them back means "Gallipoli also symbolises the healing power of time."
His Australian counterpart Tony Abbott also spoke and was followed with a reading by Prince Charles.
The British Royal read from the writings of two Anzac soldiers: Lieutenant Ken Millar of the 2nd Battalion and Company Quartermaster Sergeant Benjamin Leane of the 10th Battalion.
His son Prince Harry was also at the service alongside former prime minister Helen Clark, Irish President Michael Higgins and British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond.
Poppy wreathes were placed carefully at the foot of a stone altar in memory of the fallen, and in honour of those who still serve.
New Zealand, which had a population of one million, lost 2779 with 5212 wounded in the disastrous eight-month campaign.
More than 8700 Australians, 21,255 Brits, 10,000 French and 1358 The Indian troops were killed. And for the Turkish the carnage was greater - losing 86, 692.
The Ode of Remembrance was read by Defence Force chief Lieutenant Tim Keating and as he finished, the Last Post rang out.
After the poignant service wrapped up, the hoards slowly broke away from the stands as they began to make the steep climb up the peaks that tower over Anzac Cove.
Australians will attend a ceremony at Lone Pine. At the highest point of the ridge, Chunuk Bair, the Kiwis will hold their own memorial service early in the afternoon.
As they come up, they will meet a procession of around 35,000 local scouts, marching in honour of their war hero, Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Prince Charles will read again during the service and his son, Prince Harry will lay a wreath. Other dignitaries include Irish President Michael Higgins and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, accompanied by his Kiwi wife Margie.
At 91 and with an ulcer on his leg, Bill Chegwidden, from Whanganui, hesitated when he won a place in the ballot.
"He said I think I'm a bit old," his daughter Julie, a nurse, said.
"Three days later, I got a call: daughter, would you like to take me to Gallipoli? It was really magic."
Her grandfather William Vincent Chegwidden survived the doomed landings and lived until aged 86. Julie was moved to tears when she arrived on the peninsula.
"He never talked about it. He just said it was a bloody, literally a bloody, waste of time," she said.
Snuggled-up in the stands overnight, her father said: "There's a hell of a lot of people here...it's tiring. We'll be driven up there [to Chunuk Bair] tomorrow."
Julie added: "[Dad's] great - he walks everywhere but gets really tired. He's done really well."