Tomorrow, Sat 25th April is ANZAC day and for the first time in history, ANZAC Day Services across NZ have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Even though public services are unable to go ahead, it does not mean that the tradition of remembering and commemorating our veterans and service personnel should be cancelled too.
The #StandAtDawn campaign calls for New Zealanders, wherever they are in the world, to stand at their letterbox, front door, or balcony with others from their home at 6am tomorrow, April 25th, in order to take a moment to remember the sacrifice of others in service of our country.
This year is 75 years since the end of WW2 and in our current lockdown lands, it is only fitting that we pay tribute to the ANZAC spirit that lives on in New Zealand and Australia today. Further, we remember all those that fought for our freedom (which does currently feel somewhat inhibited!) including our 14 Wellesley/Croydon old boys that lost their lives in WW2 (their names appear on our honours board in Days Bay House) including top RAF Air Ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain who died 1940, aged 21 – below.
We have put together some images (credit Phil Benge) of Wellesley’s attendance at Eastbourne ANZAC services over recent years. Our staff and boys have always been very proud to mark this commemoration and there have been many unique traditions over the years including performances by Mrs Currington’s Bay Boys Choir; presentation of the ANZAC essay winners; Wellesley wreath presentation by our current boys Tom Biggins and Rory Marsden in 2019; catching up with Ken Longmore our oldest living Wellesley old boy, and marching alongside our local Eastbourne community.
This Anzac Day will be like no other but the significance of the day will not be lost by Wellesley just because we cannot do things the way we have always done them.