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Townsville soldiers have been told not to drink after the dawn service on Anzac Day, because of concerns they won't be sober enough to participate in the marches taking place between 9.30am and noon.

Brigadier Shane Caughey of Commander 3rd Brigade announced the directive last week. "The reason this direction was provided was to ensure all serving members are able to participate with the community in community Anzac Day activities," he said.

The 3500 serving soldiers of 3rd Brigade are allowed add rum to their coffee as part of traditional gun fire breakfast activities within each unit. But soldiers caught drinking between the dawn service and the completion of the Anzac Day march are expected to face disciplinary action, reports

The order has caused outrage among soldiers. One, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was "un-Australian" to ban Diggers from having a beer with each other after the dawn service. "I'm old enough for my country to send me overseas and shoot people but apparently I can't be trusted to have a few beers with my mates on Anzac Day," he said. "This is the first time in my 18 years in the army that this has ever happened. It's un-Australian and has to be dealt with."

Former soldier Jeremy Browne, who served with the army for 10 years including in Afghanistan about four years ago, said Diggers needed to share their experiences over a beer, especially on Anzac Day. "Veterans tend to open up and talk a little bit more freely when they have had some beers with other people who have gone through the same thing," he said. "It gives them a chance to blow off some steam and can really help their state of mind. 

"To be honest, I don't get a chance to see my (army) mates as much as I would like to and between the dawn service. And the end of the march is really the best time of year to catch up."

Image via Getty


Ban on Diggers' post-dawn service ANZAC day beer labelled 'un-Australian'
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