Some managed the journey on foot, others in wheelchairs, cars or buses, but the number of World War II veterans taking part in Adelaide’s Anzac Day march continues to fall.
In many cases army, navy and air force units were reduced to just a handful of participants while some had no local survivors at all.
Among those still able to complete the march from the city’s war memorial to the cross of sacrifice were veterans who served in the Middle East, Europe and the Pacific, cheered on by several thousand people lining the route.
More significant in number were those from more recent conflicts, with Vietnam veterans among the largest contingent.
This year’s march also allowed defence scientists to take part for the first time wearing the Australian Operational Service Medal received for serving for more than 30 days on an overseas mission.
Chief defence scientist Alex Zelinsky said scientists had always provided exceptional support to Australian troops.
“They have been on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with their defence colleagues, giving scientific advice and carrying out specialised tasks to assist commanders on the battlefield,” he said.
“They have earned the right to march in the Anzac Day parade under the defence civilians banner.”
Acting Premier John Rau and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall had previously urged South Australians to attend the march.
“As we honour our war dead and past servicemen and women, we also remember and pay tribute to the brave Australian Defence Force men and women who are currently serving overseas,” Mr Marshall said.
“Today is an important day to recognise and appreciate the enormous contribution of all soldiers who fought for Australia, many of whom paid the ultimate price to secure the future of our great nation.”
After the traditional dawn service and march, Adelaide’s Anzac Day ceremonies were completed with wreaths laid at the cross of sacrifice.