THE true meaning of Anzac was the focus of Nowra Public School's Anzac Day service on Friday.
The service started with a stirring Welcome to Country by local elder Aunty Ruth Simms OAM.
Student Ella McMahon presented a wonderful explanation of what Anzac stands for and gave a brief history of how the name came into being.
It was a theme continued by guest speaker, Aircrewman Training Officer, Warrant Officer Craig Daniel, from HMAS Albatross, fresh from taking part in the landing of a helicopter from the Helicopter Aircrew Training System [HATS] 723 Squadron on the school's oval, earlier in the day.
WO Daniel spoke about the spirit of Anzac, paying special mention to the heroics of Teddy Sheean, an ordinary seaman serving on HMAS Armidale whose death during a Japanese aerial attack on his ship has become a well-known episode in Australian Second World War lore.
An Oerlikon anti-aircraft gunner, Sheean was wounded during the attack and, rather than abandon ship, he strapped himself to his machine gun began to engage the attacking aircraft even as the ship sunk beneath him.
He shot down two planes, and crewmates recall seeing tracer rising from beneath the surface as Sheean was dragged under the water, firing until the end.
He died on December 1, 1942 aged just 18.
There was also a special tribute by Skye Wood and Aunty Ruth Simms about indigenous World War I veteran, Private Ernest Licey, whose previously unmarked grave in the Nowra Cemetery was recently rededicated, complete with headstone.
Students from 5L also paid credit to the efforts of local Nowra women in World War I.
Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson made a special presentation of books to the school, including a copy of The Victoria Cross, Australia Remembers by Michael C. Madden, which commemorates the 100 Australian VC recipients.
The service included the playing of The Last Post and Reveille by local bugler Peter Williams and the laying of wreaths.