Anzac Day: Thousands gather to remember Kiwis killed in war

Thousands have gathered at war memorials across New Zealand to pay tribute to those who served in battle, and remember those who have died fighting for our country.

As it happened:

8:00am: In Wellington Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has thanked veterans for their service and commitment to the country.

"A hundred years ago most of our troops were on the western front in northern France and Belgium. As the war progressed, the names of obscure villages, towns and ridge-lines where so many of our men lost their lives, became part of our national memory."

Crowds at Anzac Day dawn service in Wellington
Crowds at Anzac Day Dawn Service in Wellington (NZ Defence Force)
Army band at Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service
An army band at Wellington's Anzac Day dawn service (NZ Defence Force)

7:55am: Prime Minister Bill English says he is heartened by the number of young people attending Anzac Day services, and says they are more aware of the significance than his generation were.

Mr English attended the Dawn Service at Wellington's Pukeahu National War Memorial on Tuesday.

New Zealand forces are deployed in 14 operations around the world and in many places were serving alongside Australians, just as at Gallipoli in 1915.

7:45am: In Australia the 'Last Post' has sounded at many memorial services. In Melbourne, around 50,000 people are estimated to be at the Shrine of Remembrance's Dawn Service.

7:30am: Pilgrims from around the world are arriving at Gallipoli in Turkey's Canakkale province, where a Dawn Service will take place in a few hours' time. Australia's 7News reporter Hugh Whitfeld is there, and says fear of terror attacks means there are fewer people and more security at the event.

On Monday there was an international service at Gallipoli, where New Zealand soldiers took part. 

New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli
New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli (Reuters)

7:20am: Hundreds of people are being treated to a pancake breakfast at Christchurch's New Brighton beach.

The group has volunteered their time early on Tuesday morning to clean up the beach as part of the 'Serve for New Zealand' Anzac Day campaign.

Student Volunteer Army president Jared McMahon says it's more than 8000 hours have been pledged in the nationwide campaign.

"There's such a broad range of projects - we're doing this one here but there are people who have volunteered their time to do poppy day collections… there's a lot of cool and unique projects going on."

7:00am: The notes of the 'Last Post' have rung out at gatherings around New Zealand, where the sun has now risen. In Dunedin there's been rain, but crowds have turned out to brave the cold morning.

Auckland Museum is running a live stream of its memorial service on Facebook: 

6:30am: A sombre crowd has gather to commemorate fallen soldiers at the Wellington Anzac Dawn Service.

Up to 2000 people, from toddlers upwards, congregated on the cold but dry Tuesday morning donned in red poppies, coats and hats outside the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Prime Minister Bill English, the Turkish ambassador, veterans and current military members are at the hour-long ceremony.

A National Commemoration Service will be held at the same location from 11am.

In Auckland, a crowd of around 5000 gathered at War Memorial Museum at Auckland Domain on a crisp morning.

In Christchurch, a parade will take place from the Christchurch Memorial RSA in Armagh St.

Along with veterans and RSA members, the amount of young faces at services and parades has continued to grow since 2000, with a number wearing old uniforms and medals belong to grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

It's been 102 years since New Zealand and Australian soldiers landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

6:15am: On April 24 the notes of the Last Post rang out at Anzac Garden in New York City. New Zealand's UN mission shared the moment on Twitter.

6:00am: Crowds have gathered at the Auckland War Memorial Museum to pay their respects to the Anzacs.

A chill in the air hasn't deterred people from commemorating New Zealand's fallen soldiers at Tuesday morning's Dawn Service.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation.

More than 100 years since Gallipoli, the commemoration is also honouring the men and women who have served in other conflicts, including the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, and more recently, in Afghanistan.

"In remembering those who sacrificed their lives in honouring all those who have served their country to create a better world for others, we must commit ourselves to learn the lessons of the past and strive to create a more peaceful future," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says in the event's programme.

Veterans wearing an array of service medals have lined the front row outside the Auckland Museum, shedding tears as they pay tribute to those they lost.

Anzac dawn service
(Grace Cocker / Newshub.)

Current service personnel from the three armed forces - the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the New Zealand Army - are represented.

Many families with children have also gathered to learn about the sacrifices that have been made in war.

NZN / Newshub.