A CROWD of more than 1500 people gathered outside the Adamstown war memorial yesterday morning for an Anzac Day march and service held in brilliant sunshine.
Organising committee spokesperson Gerard Williams said there'd been no Adamstown parade last year, and he thanked the community for supporting its return.
The parade along Brunker Road was headed by a pipe band, followed by dozens of people wearing medals, mostly in honour of family members.
A number of schools from the area took part in the march, and Mr Williams said afterwards that it was "a buzz" to see younger generations turning out to honour the nation's soldiers.
Lieutenant-Colonel Renee Kidson, commander of the 5th Engineer Regiment gave a moving Anzac Day address that highlighted the sacrifice of two Hunter WWI soldiers, Sapper Richard Benjamin Hills, of West Wallsend, and Private William Currey, of Wallsend, who died in battles in Belgium.
"Can you imagine this morning, here in Adamstown, 100 years ago today, 1919 was the first Anzac Day after the Great War had ended," Lieutenant-Colonel Kidson said.
"The community stood back, exhausted and collectively horrified at the human catastrophe of war. If Australia was on the side of the Allied victors, this didn't feel much like a victory.
"But in that time of post-war austerity, something rose above the horrors, shining, shining like a beacon, hoping to heal the hurts of war.
"It was the Anzac spirit."
The exploits of two more WWI veterans, Military Cross winner Major Hugh John Connell - later a state Labor MP for Newcastle - and Minmi-born airman Gordon Campbell Wilson, were described to the crowd by historian Gary Mitchell.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial before bugler Lisa Gaudron played The Last Post and The Rouse.
Further reading:Why an irreverent nation embraces the formality of Anzac Day
Open Arms - Veterans Families Counselling Service (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families.
They can be reached 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website for more information.