Gayndah gathers to remember the fallen
BY THE end of April 25, 1918, more than 2400 Australian casualties lay in the streets of Villers-Bretonneux, France.
Our Anzac heroes fought alongside our French and British allies to end the German advance in the Somme.
The battle was a successful counter attack on the Germans who initiated the first tank-versus-tank battle in history with the aim of occupying the township of Villers-Bretonneux.
Before the sun rose today, exactly 100 years on, Gayndah locals headed into town to pay respects to our Anzacs who not only fought, and continue to fight for our safety, but who make the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and freedom of families all over the world.
"If the Anzac legend was born on that terrible defeat on the beaches of Gallipoli it came of age three years later when the Anzacs distinguished themselves on another battlefield thousands of miles away at Villers-Bretonneux," Gayndah RSL president Boyd Baker said.
"That battle was a crucial turning point in World War I and the Anzacs played a vital role... their bold counter-attack was instrumental in ending the German offence on Somme."
Mr Baker invited former serving member of the Australian Army Ainsley Shepherd to address the early risers.
"I stand here this morning to honour those who paid for our freedom, to remember those who have shown us a better way to live and to share what it really means to be an Australian," she said.
Mrs Shepherd said she loved the way people united to share in Anzac commemorations, young and old.
"There's something that stirs us up out of our warm beds at 4am because the Anzac spirit is in our DNA."
The dawn service was concise yet heartfelt.
The public were invited to join RSL members, veterans and members of the Australian Army at a buffet breakfast at the Golden Orange Hotel.