The crowds for Anzac Day are definitely getter larger in numbers. After attending various Anzac Days throughout the Pacific over the last 5 years I've noticed the increase in young people at the dawn service and that was no different in New Zealand today.
Since the 100th Anniversary of the birth of our Anzacs (2 years ago) there has been more education and media attracting the larger numbers. What a great turnout in Christchurch New Zealand this morning. A lot of focus on mentioning Australia in the dawn service speeches by the presenters. “Good on you” to our kiwi cousins across the Tasman for turning it on, to which I would say, would have been one of the best Anzac dawn service I'd ever attended.
Cranmer Square, the location of the dawn service, has over 900 white crosses with the names of each soldier who died in WW1 in the first 90 hours of the war. Wellington, the nations capital, is planning to lay 17,000 white crosses including names of all soldiers who died in WW1. In New Zealand the Anzac spirit has really come to life.
I further attended a private Anzac service with my son 2Lt William Sams (2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment) at Christs College where he is head strength and conditioning coach in the physical education department.
The college laid out approx 100 white crosses in the courtyard representing the hundred college old boys who were killed in action WW1. An outstanding large black marble memorial plaque of Captain Charles Upham VC (with bar) WW2, a former Christs College student himself, stands on the Miles Warren classroom outside wall facing across the college grounds. On looking at the marble memorial shining in all its glory you can see a reflection of the sandstone college library in the background almost fooling the viewer to think the library is part of Upham's memorial.
A private ceremony and laying of a wreath was very appropriate to pay respects to those soldiers of WW1 who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to Captain Upham the only Commonwealth double Victoria Cross winner from WW2.