New generation takes on Anzac traditions

Te Anau's two WWII veterans Louie Nicholson, left, and Alf Excell lay the RSA wreath during the Anzac service today.
Te Anau's two WWII veterans Louie Nicholson, left, and Alf Excell lay the RSA wreath during the Anzac service today.
Warrant Officer class one Danny Broughton, of Wellington, Nicole Brown, 5, and Tegan Kennedy, 8, (blue jacket), both of Winsdor area Brownies at the Eastern Cemetery.
Warrant Officer class one Danny Broughton, of Wellington, Nicole Brown, 5, and Tegan Kennedy, 8, (blue jacket), both of Winsdor area Brownies at the Eastern Cemetery.
People take shelter under umbrellas during today's service in Clyde. It was only the second time in 20 years the service was forced indoors because of rain.
People take shelter under umbrellas during today's service in Clyde. It was only the second time in 20 years the service was forced indoors because of rain.
Khalen O'Donnell, 7, holds a wreath at the Thornbury Anzac Day service. She is about to hand it over to a fire fighter to lay on the cenotaph.
Khalen O'Donnell, 7, holds a wreath at the Thornbury Anzac Day service. She is about to hand it over to a fire fighter to lay on the cenotaph.
Russell Baker leads the Te Anau Anzac parade down the town's main street.
Russell Baker leads the Te Anau Anzac parade down the town's main street.
Firefighter Kelven Caskill plays the Last Post at the Portobello Anzac Service.
Firefighter Kelven Caskill plays the Last Post at the Portobello Anzac Service.
Preparing to march from the Tuatapere RSA hall to the Tuatapere Memorial Library for the laying of poppies and flowers.
Preparing to march from the Tuatapere RSA hall to the Tuatapere Memorial Library for the laying of poppies and flowers.
Returned servicemen lay poppies at Arrowtown's memorial gates.
Returned servicemen lay poppies at Arrowtown's memorial gates.
The parade reaches Arrowtown's memorial gates.
The parade reaches Arrowtown's memorial gates.
Returned servicemen and fire service personnel gather to lead a procession to Arrowtown's memorial gates.
Returned servicemen and fire service personnel gather to lead a procession to Arrowtown's memorial gates.
A time to remember at the Invercargill service.
A time to remember at the Invercargill service.
Cromwell members of the Roxburgh Brass Band, Lynne Ellis, Gemma Ellis and Mike Childs.
Cromwell members of the Roxburgh Brass Band, Lynne Ellis, Gemma Ellis and Mike Childs.
Arrowtown's Athenaeum Hall is packed, with standing room only inside as the crowd spills into Buckingham St as the Arrowtown service starts.
Arrowtown's Athenaeum Hall is packed, with standing room only inside as the crowd spills into Buckingham St as the Arrowtown service starts.
People make their way to the cenotaph at Clyde.
People make their way to the cenotaph at Clyde.
Duncan McGregor and Sean Withington,11, with an American Dodge military jeep. McGregor brought the jeep along with anti-aircraft spotlight to the Winton Anzac service.
Duncan McGregor and Sean Withington,11, with an American Dodge military jeep. McGregor brought the jeep along with anti-aircraft spotlight to the Winton Anzac service.
Ruth French and Betty Hammond at Winton dawn service.
Ruth French and Betty Hammond at Winton dawn service.
Riverton resident Andrew Kennedy at the Riverton RSA breakfast.
Riverton resident Andrew Kennedy at the Riverton RSA breakfast.
Morning tea at Bluff.
Morning tea at Bluff.
Heavy rain in Clyde has forced the service to shift to the town hall.
Heavy rain in Clyde has forced the service to shift to the town hall.
Noeline Cleaver and Kevin O'Connor with their great uncle George Dryden's writing pad from the war.
Noeline Cleaver and Kevin O'Connor with their great uncle George Dryden's writing pad from the war.
Charlie Sargeant is brought to tears today as he wears his brother's medals.
Charlie Sargeant is brought to tears today as he wears his brother's medals.
southlandtimes.co.nz reader Vicki Coats sent in this pic of a rainy start to the service on Stewart Island.
southlandtimes.co.nz reader Vicki Coats sent in this pic of a rainy start to the service on Stewart Island.
Wreaths laid in Balclutha this morning.
Wreaths laid in Balclutha this morning.
The parade is called to order by Commander Lyal Cocks at Hawea, Southern Lakes District.
The parade is called to order by Commander Lyal Cocks at Hawea, Southern Lakes District.
Standing to attention as the service begins in Balclutha.
Standing to attention as the service begins in Balclutha.
Poppies decorate memorials at the Hawea parade, Southern Lakes District.
Poppies decorate memorials at the Hawea parade, Southern Lakes District.
World War II vets Bill Slater and George Sargeant with their brolly holders in Bluff.
World War II vets Bill Slater and George Sargeant with their brolly holders in Bluff.
Breakfast is served at the Riverton RSA.
Breakfast is served at the Riverton RSA.
Youth are becoming an increasing presence at services in the south. These girls are at the Gore service.
Youth are becoming an increasing presence at services in the south. These girls are at the Gore service.
Playing to remember our Anzacs in Invercargill.
Playing to remember our Anzacs in Invercargill.
Colours start to creep in as dawn makes way for day at the Invercargill service.
Colours start to creep in as dawn makes way for day at the Invercargill service.
Winton soldiers Reg Small and Len Gerard talk with piper Ann Robbie at the dawn service in Winton.
Winton soldiers Reg Small and Len Gerard talk with piper Ann Robbie at the dawn service in Winton.
Gore was the earliest service to start in the south, getting under way at 6.30am.
Gore was the earliest service to start in the south, getting under way at 6.30am.
Standing guard in Invercargill.
Standing guard in Invercargill.
Winton man and ex-serviceman Nick Phillips arrives for the Winton Dawn Service.
Winton man and ex-serviceman Nick Phillips arrives for the Winton Dawn Service.
Whiskey to warm the heart before heading to the Bluff service.
Whiskey to warm the heart before heading to the Bluff service.
People gather in the rain as the Invercargill services starts at 7am.
People gather in the rain as the Invercargill services starts at 7am.
An early turn out for the Riverton service.
An early turn out for the Riverton service.

Ten-year-old Tom Wilton wore his great-grandfather's uniform to Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service this morning.

The uniform was around 100 years old, he said. His great-grandfather fought in Gallipoli.

Tom was among thousands of young people attending dawn parades around the country, many wearing the medals of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

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The strong numbers of younger people coming to the ceremonies have been welcomed by many.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said it was a positive sign that the next generation were involved in marking ANZAC day.

"We're seeing young people taking a lead role," he said.

"They're carrying the baton and taking the spirit of ANZAC forward. We're seeing more and more youngsters, grandmas and granddads bringing the young ones out and ensuring they get a sense of the spirit of ANZAC."

In Christchurch, among the younger generation at the service were Jack, 7, Max, 5, and Will Denison, 3. It was their fourth, third and second times at the dawn parade respectively.

Father Pedro Denison said his children enjoyed coming so much it was "a bit like Christmas" for them.

"They were awake at about 5am this morning waiting.

"They have their favourite parts, obviously the guns are a bit of an attraction."

He said it was important for the younger generation to witness the service, and although the two younger children may not understand the meaning behind it, Jack was "starting to understand a bit more".

In Auckland Corporal Alasdair McIntosh brought his five-year-old daughter and one-year-old son to the service for the first time.

McIntosh said he saw a steady growth in crowds each year, which he remembered as being only half the size when he first attended 39 years ago.

Close to 10,000 people gathered at Auckland War Memorial Museum for the Anzac Day dawn service, helped by a strong turn-out of families and young children.

"It certainly resonates with people and I think has more of a link with the current-day conflicts," McIntosh said.

"There's a whole new generation seeing that it's not only great granddads but people nowadays serving around the world."

McIntosh said his thoughts turned to all fallen soldiers, including his friend who he served alongside in East Timor in 2002.

A special student dedication added to the ceremony.

Celia Scott-Will-Harknett of Rangitoto College and Barlas Turkyilmaz from Istanbul spoke of the values and freedoms that soldiers fought for, and continue to protect.

"Let us dedicate ourselves to their ideals," Celia said.

RECENT DEATHS REMEMBERED


New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan were among the fallen honoured today at Anzac Day services around the country.

In Feilding, as war veterans marched back to the Rangitikei Club after this morning's dawn service in the town, friends and family of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell laid poppies and kisses on his plaque.

O'Donnell was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

A wreath was also laid for him during the 30-minute dawn service.

GIVING THANKS

Five thousand people gathered before dawn to pay respects at the Anzac Day service at the Wellington Cenotaph.

Booming cannon fire and rifle volleys rang out as young and old sang hymns lamenting the men and women who never returned from New Zealand's wars.

Prime Minister John Key, there along with Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown and top military brass, laid a wreath at the memorial.

"We have risen from our beds early to give thanks for those who gave their lives for the cost of peace," reverend Lionel Nunns told the crowd.

Many children and teenagers proudly wore the medals of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

Island Bay's Allen family got to the cenotaph before 5am to secure a prime viewing spot. Mother Vivienne and her children have come to the service every year for 14 years, and came well prepared, bundled up in puffer jackets and with a blanket to sit on before the service began.

Daughter Sammy Allen, 18, said she came every year to pay tribute to her grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather, all of whom served overseas.

The speech and language therapy student loved the wreath laying but disliked the gun volley.

"It's so loud."

The rifles were the best part of the service for her brother Nick, 10, who was not sure if he would continue the family's  military service.

Tawa family the Koenigsbergers were at the dawn service for the first time, bringing along sons Harry, 6, and Xavier, 8.

"We've come for the kids, for them to see what goes on, to see what happened in the past," dad Chris said.

The boys were learning about Gallipoli at Redwood School and were keen to learn more, mum Alecia said.

Xavier said he wanted to honour the soldiers who died.

JACKSON HELPS RE-CREATE PAST UNIFORMS


Sir Peter Jackson joined diginitaries at the front of the crowd, in prime position to see the 35 historical military uniforms he helped re-create.

Current reserve soldiers from the Wellington company, 57th battalion, wore khaki dress uniforms in the parade.

Each was different and represented a regiment that served in the First World War. Two women soldiers wore the uniforms of nurses who assisted in battle.

Soldiers had spent days training to do historical drills, using much larger .303 rifles than the modern guns used today, Jackson said. An old bandsman who trained in the 1950s had been running soldiers through the moves, he said.

"The Defence Force have been enthusiastic about trying something different this year," he said.

"The soldiers got into it, wearing the kit of their forebears."

More uniforms would be created for the Gallipoli centenary celebrations next year, Jackson said.

Bill Mitchell, a 101-year-old veteran of the Pacific, shakes a hand at the Anzac Day service at Christchurch's Cranmer Square.
Bill Mitchell, a 101-year-old veteran of the Pacific, shakes a hand at the Anzac Day service at Christchurch's Cranmer Square.
Vietnam Veteran Bob Salter at the Anzac Day Parade and Dawn Service in Picton is flanked by his daughters Samantha, left and Jacueline, right. He is fighting terminal cancer and this will likely be his last Anzac Day.
Vietnam Veteran Bob Salter at the Anzac Day Parade and Dawn Service in Picton is flanked by his daughters Samantha, left and Jacueline, right. He is fighting terminal cancer and this will likely be his last Anzac Day.
Taupo had large numbers attend both the dawn and 10.30am ANZAC services, with even the rain sweeping through not enough to deter locals from attending.
Taupo had large numbers attend both the dawn and 10.30am ANZAC services, with even the rain sweeping through not enough to deter locals from attending.
Waiuku Primary School pupil Ben Cutler, 6, places a wreath created by his fellow students at the Waiuku cenotaph.
Waiuku Primary School pupil Ben Cutler, 6, places a wreath created by his fellow students at the Waiuku cenotaph.
Returned servicemen and their families march down Pollen St for the Thames Anzac Day parade.
Returned servicemen and their families march down Pollen St for the Thames Anzac Day parade.
Never forgotten - a crowd gathered this morning at the Takaka Memorial Library to honour those who had fallen.  To the right, 72 crosses honour those who gave their lives in war to protect New Zealand over the past 100 years.
Never forgotten - a crowd gathered this morning at the Takaka Memorial Library to honour those who had fallen. To the right, 72 crosses honour those who gave their lives in war to protect New Zealand over the past 100 years.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Reverend Albie Martin.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Reverend Albie Martin.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Wilfred 'Wink' Burgess served in the airforce from 1943-44.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Wilfred 'Wink' Burgess served in the airforce from 1943-44.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Ben McKenzie, who was in the 27th battalion.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph. Ben McKenzie, who was in the 27th battalion.
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph.
ANZAC Day dawn service parade, at New Plymouth cenotaph.
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding - Mayor Margaret Kouvelis reads a statement from Governor General
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding - Mayor Margaret Kouvelis reads a statement from Governor General
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding - Feilding school children lay wreath
ANZAC Dawn Parade - Feilding - Feilding school children lay wreath
Rod White with his granddaughter Elizabeth Collcutt, Rod's father fought in WWII and his father in WWI.
Rod White with his granddaughter Elizabeth Collcutt, Rod's father fought in WWII and his father in WWI.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Members of the RSA pay their respects as they lay a poppies in the flag.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Members of the RSA pay their respects as they lay a poppies in the flag.
Cadet Tom Paine during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Cadet Tom Paine during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Garin College student Emily O'Connell delivers a speech during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Garin College student Emily O'Connell delivers a speech during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Members of the Nelson RSA make their way down Halifax Street to Anzac Park.
Members of the Nelson RSA make their way down Halifax Street to Anzac Park.
Members of the Nelson RSA wait in Millers Acre for the dawn service to start.
Members of the Nelson RSA wait in Millers Acre for the dawn service to start.
The dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
The dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Robert Straight during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Robert Straight during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Cadet Emma-Lea Hughson lowers the New Zealand flag during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Cadet Emma-Lea Hughson lowers the New Zealand flag during the dawn service at Anzac Park this morning.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Motueka High School had student left, and Kora Appleton, the student rep on the board of trustees, speaking at the service.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Motueka High School had student left, and Kora Appleton, the student rep on the board of trustees, speaking at the service.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Moeke Paaka pays his respects as he lays a poppy in the flag.
Dawn parade at Motueka cenotaph. Moeke Paaka pays his respects as he lays a poppy in the flag.
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Cranmer Square
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch Cranmer Square
Anzac Day Parade and Dawn Service from Picton.
Anzac Day Parade and Dawn Service from Picton.
Sir Peter Jackson attends Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service.
Sir Peter Jackson attends Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service.
A soldier reflects on the past at Rotorua's dawn service.
A soldier reflects on the past at Rotorua's dawn service.
Crowds gather at Hamilton's dawn service to remember the war dead.
Crowds gather at Hamilton's dawn service to remember the war dead.
Soldiers march in Wellington at the dawn service.
Soldiers march in Wellington at the dawn service.
A choir group sings during the Anzac Day ceremony at Parliament.
A choir group sings during the Anzac Day ceremony at Parliament.
New Zealand prime minister John Key bows his head in honour of fallen soldiers.
New Zealand prime minister John Key bows his head in honour of fallen soldiers.
The Auckland  Anzac Dawn Service gets underway at the Domain
The Auckland Anzac Dawn Service gets underway at the Domain
The Auckland Anzac Dawn Service gets underway at the Domain
The Auckland Anzac Dawn Service gets underway at the Domain
The Auckland  Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
The Auckland Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
WWII veterans at the Auckland  Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
WWII veterans at the Auckland Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
WWII veterans stand to attention during the singing of the New Zealand National Anthem during the Anzac dawn service at the Domain
WWII veterans stand to attention during the singing of the New Zealand National Anthem during the Anzac dawn service at the Domain
 6 year old Josh Sheppard wears his great grand fathers WWI medals at the Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
6 year old Josh Sheppard wears his great grand fathers WWI medals at the Anzac Dawn Service at the Domain
An early turn out for the Riverton service.
An early turn out for the Riverton service.
Whangarei honoured its more than 600 war dead this morning at the Laurie Hall Park Field of Remembrance. A crowd of about 5000 attended
Whangarei honoured its more than 600 war dead this morning at the Laurie Hall Park Field of Remembrance. A crowd of about 5000 attended
Whangarei honoured its more than 600 war dead this morning at the Laurie Hall Park Field of Remembrance. A crowd of about 5000 attended
Whangarei honoured its more than 600 war dead this morning at the Laurie Hall Park Field of Remembrance. A crowd of about 5000 attended
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
ANZAC DAY Remembrance in Christchurch
Dawn Parade Te Aroha Anzac Day
Dawn Parade Te Aroha Anzac Day
Gentle rain starts to fall In Invercargill as people gather for the 7am Anzac Day service.
Gentle rain starts to fall In Invercargill as people gather for the 7am Anzac Day service.
The crowd starts arriving at the Hamilton war memorial on a foggy morning.
The crowd starts arriving at the Hamilton war memorial on a foggy morning.
A soldier stands at attention near the Hamilton war memorial.
A soldier stands at attention near the Hamilton war memorial.
Members of the public turn up to pay their respects in Wellington.
Members of the public turn up to pay their respects in Wellington.
Members of the public walk through the fog in Hamilton to head to the dawn service.
Members of the public walk through the fog in Hamilton to head to the dawn service.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown at the dawn service at Parliament.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown at the dawn service at Parliament.
Oscar-winning film director Peter Jackson at the Anzac Day dawn ceremony at Parliament.
Oscar-winning film director Peter Jackson at the Anzac Day dawn ceremony at Parliament.
Members of the public turn up to pay their respects in Wellington.
Members of the public turn up to pay their respects in Wellington.
The crowd gathers in the darkness at Parliament for the dawn Anzac service.
The crowd gathers in the darkness at Parliament for the dawn Anzac service.
Soldiers stand in place ahead of the Anzac Day ceremony at Parliament.
Soldiers stand in place ahead of the Anzac Day ceremony at Parliament.

- Josh Fagan, Ashleigh Stewart, Belinda Feek, Tracey Chatterton, Catherine Reiss

NEW GENERATION: Tom Wilton, 10, wears his great-grandfather's uniform to Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service.
NEW GENERATION: Tom Wilton, 10, wears his great-grandfather's uniform to Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service.
KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell
KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell