Thousands commemorate Anzac Day 2015 in Queanbeyan
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Thousands commemorate Anzac Day 2015 in Queanbeyan

Astonishing numbers paid their respects at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra but across the border, Queanbeyan had the largest Anzac Day crowds seen in years.

An estimated 900 turned up for the frosty dawn service and 3500 for the mid-morning march and ceremony.

Anzac Day Centenary in Queanbeyan.

Anzac Day Centenary in Queanbeyan.Credit:Georgina Connery

Queanbeyan Police Detective Sergeant Michael Handley said there was heightened awareness of potential security threats at all sites across the Monaro command, but he was pleased there was no trouble.

"It just went like clockwork and it was a good day for all the returned servicemen," he said. "The crowds in our command were very respectful and very well behaved."

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Corporal William Bostock with wife Alexandra and baby Ella

Corporal William Bostock with wife Alexandra and baby EllaCredit:Georgina Connery

Sergeant Handley said there were large crowds across the district, with 1000 in Jindabyne and hundreds at services in Cooma, Berridale, Bombala, Bungendore, Braidwood and Adaminaby.

Alexandra Bostok​ grew up in Queanbeyan and the Anzac Day service there was unlike any other.

"I have come here since I was little girl and for me, it's very special," she said. "My family had relatives that died in WW1 and my husband is currently serving in the army, so Anzac Day is a very special time for us."

Corporal William Bostock stood proudly wearing his service medals, alongside his wife and 19-month-old daughter Ella.

Veteran George McAulay, surrounded by family.

Veteran George McAulay, surrounded by family.Credit:Georgina Connery

He served in Afghanistan in 2012 and said on Anzac Day he thought about the significance of sacrifice and to hold the memories of all diggers that have fallen.

"While I was over there, we had soldiers that died," he said. "Coming and seeing the older veterans, knowing they had mates that died while fighting overseas, and sharing those losses with them is really moving."

George McAulay​, a former Royal Australian Airforce Sergeant was flanked by family at the Queanbeyan service.

The 88-year-old joined as a local defence volunteer in Scotland aged 15 and served with the Royal Air Force during WW2 in Malaya.

He continued his service with the RAAF in the Middle East and Europe after moving to Australia in 1949 and he later served in Vietnam.

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Flanked by his close family, Mr McAuley said every year Anzac Day was one of mixed emotions.

"I remember the things that other people wouldn't like to know about, things you will never forget," he said. "On Anzac Day you have a few beers, chat to old mates and go home again."

Georgina is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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