Old students of Lincoln University (Canterbury Agricultural College as it then was) who lost their lives at Gallipoli in the First World War were the special focus of attention at this year’s Lincoln Community Anzac Day Service, held in the Lincoln Event Centre.
The service remembered all of Lincoln University’s war dead (over 50 in WWI and over 40 in WWII) and accordingly a wreath from the Alumni Association was laid at Lincoln township’s War Memorial along with wreaths honouring Lincoln district’s losses.
Chancellor Tom Lambie laid the Alumni Association’s wreath and also spoke at the service, which since 2008 has been a combined university-community gathering, supported by Selwyn District Council and Lincoln University together.
The Chancellor read the names of the University’s eight Gallipoli dead - Sergeant Stanley Bowker, Major Selwyn Chambers, Corporal Leonard Richard Grimwade, Sergeant Lance Nigel Haines, Private Harold Harding, Corporal Donald Lane, Trooper Francis Barry Martin, Trooper Percy Hugh Tressider.
Over 700 attended this year’s service, twice the 2014 total.“Heightened public awareness about Gallipoli, the 2015 centenary commemorations and the origins of the Anzac tradition, undoubtedly contributed to the record attendance,” says Ian Collins of Lincoln University’s Alumni & Development Office, a member of the organising committee.
Because of the focus on Gallipoli this year, the University remembered in particular the eight former students who died in the campaign and especially the three who were killed on the first day of the landings, Sunday 25 April 1915.
It was pre-arranged for Lincoln University staff member Dr Mark Wilson of the Agribusiness and Commerce Faculty, who had travelled to Gallipoli as a tour historian with a visitor party, to record a video message at the Lone Pine Memorial where the names of the first three former students are inscribed on the monument. The video message was recorded and sent to the University a couple of days before Anzac Day and screened at the service. Dr Wilson indicated the names on the monument of Corporal Leonard Richard Grimwade, aged 23, Corporal Donald Lane, aged 23, and Private Harold Harding, aged 20. They have no known individual graves. All served with the Auckland Infantry Regiment.
The community service was attended by Selwyn MP the Hon Amy Adams, Selwyn’s Mayor Kelvin Coe, both of whom spoke, and representatives of Lincoln University, the RSA (Springs branch), NZ Defence Force, Lincoln High School, Lincoln Primary School, Lincoln Volunteer Fire Brigade, Lincoln Scout Group, and other community organisations. Rev. Mark Barlow of Lincoln was the Chaplain.