NZDF

Glenfield Old Boy to Attend Gallipoli Commemorations

ASA Sandy Sanderson, who is off to Gallipoli this month as part of the New Zealand Defence Force contingent.

When Able Stores Accountant David Sanderson arrives in Gallipoli later this month he will be able to trace the footsteps of a number of his ancestors who fought at Gallipoli.

ASA Sanderson (21), grew up in Glenfield, attended Glenfield Collage and joined the Navy in 2008. He will be part of a tri-Service New Zealand Defence Force catafalque guard, which will represent New Zealand at the Anzac Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey.

ASA Sanderson says he feels it is a huge honour to be part of the Gallipoli contingent taking part in their year’s Anzac Day services in Turkey. ASA Sanderson (21), grew up in Glenfield, attended Glenfield Collage and joined the Navy in 2008. He will be part of a tri-Service New Zealand Defence Force catafalque guard, which will represent New Zealand at the Anzac Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey. The catafalque party consists of four sentries, a waiting member in reserve and a commander. The party stands vigil over the catafalque - normally a raised platform supporting a bier on which a coffin rests, may be represented for ceremonial purposes by a shrine or remembrance stone.

"I have two great great uncles and five cousins several times removed that served during the First World War. My great great uncle William Alexander Smith and cousin Douglas Wilson Gray were both aged 23 when they were killed in action at Gallipoli. William Smith is buried at Lone Pine and Douglas Gray is remembered on Twelve Tree Copse Memorial to the Missing. My great grand uncle James Taylor was wounded at Gallipoli after stepping on a mine. He returned to New Zealand and lived into his late eighties."

"It’s an honour to be able to be part of the contingent and to pay tribute to my relations. It will be amazing to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors and see where they fought so bravely for New Zealand," he said.

ASA Sanderson’s career highlights include being posted to the HMNZS Te Kaha in 2010 and travelling to Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Canada for the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy, and then down the west coast of the United States.

"It was the first New Zealand ship to visit the United States in 25 years, then we travelled down to Hawaii and Tahiti and then home. It took us five months which was the longest I’ve spent away from home and I would do it again in a heartbeat."

The official New Zealand contingent travelling to Gallipoli includes the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, and a small group of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel including an Army chaplain, catafalque guard, and members of the NZ Army Band.

The Anzac Day ceremonies in Gallipoli begin on Saturday 24 April with the Turkish International Service and conclude with the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair on 25 April. The services will be attended by dignitaries from New Zealand, Australia and Turkey.

ENDS

For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group 021 569 130

This page was last reviewed on 10 April 2012.