Western Sydney's Anzac Day dawn services

If you were wanting to attend an Anzac Day dawn service this Friday, there are plenty of venues to choose from in western Sydney including:

Blacktown

Ex-servicemen to assemble in the McDonald’s car park in Second Avenue, Blacktown, by 5am to march to Blacktown RSL for a 5.15am dawn service.

Ex-servicemen are urged to get a ticket for breakfast.

A sausage sizzle will be available for the general public on the club's lower floor.

For more on this service, read Blacktown Sun's article here.

Epping

From 6am at Forest Park, Epping. If raining, it will be help in the foyer of Epping RSL Club.

The club's minister, Reverend Mark Hillis will be a guest speaker. 

Hornsby

From 5am at the Hornsby Cenotaph, Pacific Highway, Hornsby, with Squadron Leader Gilbertson (RAAF) as guest speaker.

There will be a march to the Cenotaph from Hornsby RSL Club, starting at 4.40am.

Return to the club after the service for a free breakfast.

Granville

From 6am in Granville Memorial Park, Granville.

Breakfast will be served at Granville RSL Club following the Anzac dawn service for all attendees.

Kellyville

From 6am at Centenary of Anzac Reserve (formerly Wrights Road Reserve), on Wrights Road, Kellyville.

Free shuttle buses are available from Castle Hill Showground from 4.45am to 5.30am. Click here to book your seat on of the buses.

For more on this service, read this week's article in the Hills Newshere.

Merrylands

At 5.15am march from Memorial Avenue to Merrylands RSL Club for the dawn service, to be held outside the club.

An Army serving officer will be a guest speaker, along with two pupils from Hilltop Primary School talking about what Anzac Day means to them.

Hot breakfast will be provided afterwards at the club for those who attend the dawn service.

Parramatta

From 4.30am at Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta, with guest speaker Guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lording.

Assemble at Parramatta RSL Club at 4am to march to Prince Alfred Park from 4.15am. 

A community breakfast will be served in the club auditorium afterwards.

For more on this service, read this week's article in the Parramatta-Holroyd Sun here.

Penrith

From 4.45am (approximately) in Memory Park, Woodriff Street, Penrith.

There will be a march to Memory Park from Castlereagh Street, Penrith, at 4.30am.

Return to Penrith RSL Club after the service for breakfast at 8 Tindale Street, Penrith.

Richmond

From 5am at the Richmond War Memorial.

Members and invited guests are welcome back to the Richmond RSL Sub-Branch following the service for breakfast.

The Lions Club provide members of the public breakfast at a small cost (gold coin donation).

Riverstone-Schofields

From 6am at the Riverstone Cenotaph (Riverstone Parade, Riverstone), followed by a free breakfast at Riverstone Bowling Club.

Participants to meet at the Sub-Branch hall (18 Market Street) at 5.45am to march to the service.

Rooty Hill

From 5am in Minchinbury.

The Rooty Hill RSL Sub-Branch will march from the corner of Reynell and Minchinbury Streets, Eastern Creek, to the roundabout in Pinegrove Memorial Gardens for the dawn service.

After the service, all attendees are invited back to the club for a breakfast served by the Women’s Auxiliary.

A bus will also be provided for Sub-Branch members to attend the Sydney march, departing at 8.30am and returning at about 4pm. 

Throughout the day free entertainment will be provided at the club, including a broadcast of the city march. Two-up will be played after lunchtime at the club, under the control of the Honorary Secretary of the Sub-Branch.

St Marys

From 5.30am in Guns Memorial, St Marys RSL Club.

There will be a large live video screen to ensure everyone can view the service.

Breakfast will be available at the club afterwards.

Windsor

From 4.55am at the Windsor War Memorial, corner Tebbutt and George streets, Windsor.

March to the memorial at 4:45am from the council chambers, George Street, Windsor.

Breakfast will be available at Windsor RSL Club, corner of Argyle and Mileham streets, Windsor.

Seven Hills / Toongabbie / Wentworthville

March at 5.30am from Boomerang Place, Seven Hills, to Seven Hills - Toongabbie RSL Club for the dawn service followed by a chat inside the club.

LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SERVICE?

Click here for a full RSL club listing.

Or please email Vanessa Watson with any other information you'd like added to this list: vanessa.watson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Diggers and their families will enjoy free travel on public transport to and from Anzac Day dawn services.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Victor Dominello announced on Wednesday that current and former Australian Defence Force personnel wearing their uniform or medals will be entitled to free travel on Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services, Sydney Ferries, regular bus services across Sydney and light rail while travelling to and from Anzac Day events.

“Spouses, children or grandchildren can also travel free by displaying their medals,” Mr Dominello said.

“Widows, widowers, their children and grandchildren carrying a letter from their local RSL branch or other ex-services organisation or the War Widow’s Gold Card will be able to travel free on these services as well.”

IN A FIRST: YOUNG VETERANS TO LEAD THIS YEAR'S CITY MARCH

Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer David Cronan, of Kellyville, said for the first time this year veterans of recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions — starting with Somalia and including Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and the Solomons — will lead Sydney’s Anzac Day March.

The Castle Hill RSL Sub-Branch has organised a bus to take local veterans and peacekeepers to the Kellyville Dawn Service (bus departs the RSL at 5am), to the RSL for breakfast afterwards, and then on to Sydney, under police escort, for the city march. 

Campaign's great legacy

ANZAC Day, April 25, is considered one of Australia's most important days of the year.

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the Dardanelles (a strait between Europe and Asiatic Turkey) to the Allied navy.

The soldiers quickly became known as Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli on April 25, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders.

At the end of 1915 the Allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.

More than 8000 Australian soldiers were killed.

News of the landing at Gallipoli had made a profound impact at home and April 25 became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions left a powerful legacy.

April 25 has become an occasion of national remembrance.

■ SHARE YOUR STORIES: Share your Anzac Day stories and photographs with Vanessa Watson at vanessa.watson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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