Anzac Day 2017: Dawn service too emotional as Margaret Collins remembers ‘the Lucas boys’

ANZAC EMOTIONS: Bega's Margaret Collins is brought to tears each Anzac Day by dawn service at Anzac Cove. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

ANZAC EMOTIONS: Bega's Margaret Collins is brought to tears each Anzac Day by dawn service at Anzac Cove. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

For many people the Anzac Day dawn service is a deeply emotional moment each year.

For Bega’s Margaret Collins, the resonating sound of The Last Post being pushed from the lips of a lone bugler as the sun rises over the eastern horizon conjures a deep sense of sadness.

“I’ve never been to a dawn service because I would be crying my eyes out, and would have to leave,” the 71-year-old said.

“It brings me to tears, because there’s so much emotion.”

The song brings back thoughts of her uncles Dud and Basil, who was commonly known as Babe, who both tragically died in 1942.

Brothers Henry Jr, Bill, Rufus, Don, Dudley, Jim, Jack, Basil and her father Lance Lucas all fought in World War II.

“Babe was just 18 when he died of dengue fever in New Guinea, and Dud was just 22 when he died in Singapore,” Ms Collins said.

“A lot of information I’ve found out since my father died – at that time he thought Dud was still missing in action.”

Thoughts of her grandfather John Goodsir, who survived a German mustard gas strike while fighting in the trenches of France during World War I, also move her.

“Mum said he wouldn’t talk about what happened, and there’s still so many, even Vietnam veterans who don’t talk about what they did or what they saw,” she said.

“Anzac Day brings up memories of all the boys who lost their lives there.

“I remember when I was younger wondering why dad would get so upset, then one day I realised he was thinking about his dead brothers.”

Her two brothers, sister and two grandsons attend the Bega dawn service each year, while Ms Collins watches the daytime march with her great-grandchildren, so they can be part of the day’s sentiment.

“Two years ago I thought I would take them along, and they were clapping their hands and enjoying it,” she said.

“After I get home from the march I put the television on and watch the services, including the Gallipoli dawn service.”

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