Diggers honoured in Sydney Anzac Day parade

Thousands of flag-waving well-wishers have burst into spontaneous applause as the oldest and frailest veterans were carried down George Street during Sydney's Anzac parade.

A fleet of taxis carried dozens of elderly ex-servicemen towards Hyde Park, most too old or too fragile to complete the march on foot.

Peter Ellwood, who joined the RAAF in 1933, said it was an honour to be one of the first to lead the march out of Martin Place.

"It's a privilege to be able to sit at the front of the bus," he said.

Mr Ellwood, who lives in a war veterans' aged care facility, said he was impressed with the turnout in Sydney.


The veterans received a warm reception, despite Sydney's chilly temperatures.

"There's not many of these really old boys left," Reggie Taylor, a Vietnam veteran, said.

"In many ways they've sacrificed the most, so it's entirely appropriate we honour them."

And those who packed into the CBD agreed.

About 20,000 former soldiers, current servicemen and women, police and relatives are taking part in the march, which is expected to end about 1pm.

Jets roared overhead as part of a military fly-past honouring the marchers shortly after 9am.

I’m here out of respect for him - to represent him

It startled one or two onlookers, including some of the elderly veterans.

"That brings back some memories, I can tell you," one said as he moved slowly along.

Aaron Torline from Double Bay was among the many fathers with children hoisted on their shoulders watching the parade.

Mr Torline said his cousin was in Afghanistan and both his grandfathers were stationed in Darwin during World War II.

"They flew bombers from Darwin," he said.

Mr Torline said he had come to the march so his daughter Heidi could watch the soldiers and learn the importance of supporting the nation's servicemen and women.

Ian White’s father fought with the Australian army in the second Gulf War and died five years ago.

Mr White, 20, from Mascot, was in the crowd to represent his dad.

"I’m here out of respect for him - to represent him," he said.

"The way everyone’s presenting themselves today is really good. It’s good to see."