Anzac march a double day of remembrance

Some 16,000 serving and ex-ADF personnel marched along Sydney's Elizabeth Street.
Some 16,000 serving and ex-ADF personnel marched along Sydney's Elizabeth Street.

For Bill Hyde, April 25 isn't only Anzac Day. It's the date his uncle died on the Western Front exactly 101 years ago.

Sporting the uniform of the NSW Scottish Regimental Association, the 64-year-old has a host of World War I medals on his chest belonging both to his grandfather, who served in the British army, and his uncle, who fought for Australia.

"I've found out my uncle died just outside Villers-Bretonneux (in France) today in 1918 at four o'clock their time, so it's a pretty special day," Mr Hyde told AAP ahead of Thursday's Anzac Day march in Sydney.

His uncle, a stretcher-bearer, died after being hit by shrapnel.

"The first time I saw my uncle's grave ... I thought I'd be OK - I don't even know the guy, it's 100 years - but it was just something so special," he said.

The sound of Waltzing Matilda echoed through Sydney's streets as the procession began. It was 104 years after the landing at Gallipoli.

Almost 13,000 people - including serving and ex-personnel - participated in the march along Sydney's Elizabeth Street from Martin Place to Hyde Park.

Thousands of spectators gathered to honour the fallen with many waving flags, clapping and cheering, as jets flew overhead.

Walter Tuchin, 95, is one of the few members of the 24 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force who's still alive.

He was cheered on during the march by more than a dozen children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mr Tuchin, who made his way down the route in a wheelchair pushed by his son, was just shy of 18 when he signed up to serve in World War II.

He said it was "just marvellous" to meet up with those he served with each Anzac Day.

Ian McPherson, 70, has attended the event almost his entire life because his father always marched.

On Thursday, he and his wife Rhonda were accompanied by their grandsons Tyce, 9, and Nate, 11.

"We have very fortunately been able to bring two of our grandchildren in today for their very first time," Mr McPherson told AAP.

Katie Thorburn, 22, who's been in the navy for five years, said Anzac Day was her favourite day of the year.

"It's the one day that's contributed to veterans everywhere, which is really lovely, and I love meeting the veterans," Ms Thorburn said.

Ms Thorburn's brother is in the Army and their father served in Papua New Guinea.

At a Commemoration Service held at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, RSL NSW president James Brown paid tribute to the Anzacs and their descendants.

"On this day we remember the sacrifice of such men and women for an ideal, for our way of life, for our values and for our country that is fair, free and without fear," Mr Brown told the crowd.

Australian Associated Press