Large crowds spilled out onto the street for Inverell's Anzac Day mid morning ceremony on Thursday, following the well-attended march.
Many locals also gathered for the quiet reflection of the dawn service earlier in the day, and Gilgai Public School students made up a large contingent of marchers at Gilgai's 8.45am service.
Wallangra veteran Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Roberts captivated crowds around the Inverell cenotaph as he spoke of his gradual realisation of the importance of commemorating the fallen as a child.
"My earliest memories are of my dad and a family friend leading the march with their bagpipes up the main street and into the memorial hall," he said.
Lt-Col Roberts told the story of Inverell Private Peter John Arnold, who lost his life in the Vietnam War. He said friends recalled the private was "his usual irrepressible self," before his final battle, in which he put the lives of others ahead of his own.
"Private Arnold's efforts that day were supreme," Lt-Col Roberts said.