Campbelltown Anzac Day morning service draws crowd | photos

Bathed in bright morning sunlight, hundreds of locals flocked to Mawson Park in Campbelltown this morning to pay their respects to Australia's fallen military heroes.

The 9am Anzac Day service was smaller than in the past due to pandemic restrictions, however it was no less moving or poignant.

TS Kanimbla Naval Cadets served as the Catafalque party, while 218 Army Cadets and 303 Squadron RAAF Cadets served as the flag marshals for the special ceremony.

Master of ceremonies Colin Noonan, Campbelltown RSL Sub Branch senior vice president, thanked all for attending, especially the parents and grandparents who had brought their young children along.

He said the service was an important way to pass on the memories of those who had served.

"We remember all those who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and all peacekeeping operations," Mr Noonan said.

"Honour, courage, mateship and sacrifice: these qualities continue today.

"We are proud to be Australian."

The service included a veterans' march, flag raising, playing of the piper's Lament, wreath-laying and the sounding of The Last Post and Reveille.

But the most spectacular moment of the ceremony was the heartfelt speech from St Patrick's College Campbelltown student Abbey Clancy, who delivered the guest address.

She began her speech with the words of a 20-year-old soldier from WWI, who wrote a letter to his mother back home.

"We are going into the firing line tomorrow," Abbey read from the letter.

"If, by chance, anything happens, I feel that I should go to a place of happiness, for I have never done a deed in my life that I am ashamed of, so I fear nothing."

Abbey revealed that those words were in fact written by her great-great-uncle, Patrick Bugden, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in saving the lives of several fellow Australian soldiers.

"Thousands of other young Australian men and women who served their country have not received these honours," she said.

"But the bravery and sacrifice of these Australians simply cannot be overlooked. If these Australians were willing to die for us, then the least we can do is share their stories and honour their memories."

Abbey spoke of the grave price Campbelltown paid in the Great War.

"In WWI, the rural village of Campbelltown had a population of just over 2000, and it sent 250 people to war, with 42 killed in action," she said.

"We as a community gave so much and banded together in this time.

"This was the same in so many Australian towns. Every family was affected, and everyone knew someone who had lost someone."

Lest We Forget

This story Campbelltown Anzac Day morning service draws crowd | photos first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.