NZDF

Gallipoli Trip Huge Honour for Navy Commander

CDR Stokes, who is off to Gallipoli this month as part of the New Zealand Defence Force contingent

Being the Master of Ceremonies at the Anzac Day services at Gallipoli later this month will be a huge honour for Navy Commander Glen Stokes from Upper Hutt.

CDR Stokes will be part of a contingent of 18 New Zealand Defence Force personnel, which will represent New Zealand at the Anzac Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey.

CDR Stokes, who grew up in Napier, is currently the Commandant of the New Zealand Cadet Forces. He says he feels it is a huge privilege to be part of the Gallipoli contingent taking part in their year’s Anzac Day services in Turkey.

"I feel privileged and humbled as there are many other worthy individuals who deserve such an opportunity. I will also be paying tribute to two family members, my Grandfather’s cousins — brothers from Sanson - who were killed at Gallipoli.

"Sydney Herbert Stokes and James Fawcett Stokes, were both young privates in the Wellington Infantry Regiment who went missing in action on 8 August 1915 and were never found. Their names are on the Chunuk Bair Memorial," he said.

CDR Stokes’ career highlights include being part of the 2004 New Zealand contingent that went to France and repatriated the remains of the Unknown Warrior.

"My trip to Gallipoli is especially poignant as the Unknown Warrior represents all those who have no known grave and could not be bought home. The bodies of Sydney and James were never found and returned to their mother or family. I will pay tribute to them both by placing poppies on the Chunuk Bair memorial where they are commemorated."

The Navy is a big part of CDR Stokes family. When he joined in1975 he followed his four brothers into the service. At one stage they held the record for the most brothers in one Service. His father also served in the Navy during the Korean War.

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.