ANZAC service on the Quad

06 May 2022

For the first time in three terms the whole College community sang together at the service for the Commemoration of the Fallen.

Surrounding the Quadrangle beside the striking sight of 152 white crosses, the boys and staff gathered in bright sunshine to remember the Old Boys lost in war, to honour a legacy of service, to affirm our commitment to peace and to reflect on the horror and lessons of war.

The Chaplain, Rev. Cameron Pickering, led the service which included the reception of the Books of Memories, the laying of wreaths, and the playing of The Last Post and Reveille.

He said not only did we remember the suffering and those lost in war, “but also those who returned scarred, wounded and disillusioned, and those who waited”.

“And we remember all the communities diminished by war, and those who risked their lives for their comrades.”

Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association President Angus Dysart-Paul, who is also a Second Lieutenant in the Territorial Reserves, reflected on the battle for North Africa and the Old Boys who died in the Western Desert during World War II.

“Many College Old Boys served in the North African theatre with the greatest distinction. Charles Upham would win the bar to his Victoria Cross for acts of bravery at Minqar Qaim and on the Alamein line at Ruweisat Ridge,” he said.

“But the cost of war, and Montgomery’s ultimate victory, was high. Eighteen College Old Boys died in the desert battles of 1942. Three would die during the second battle of El Alamein – John Ramsey, Fane Vernon and Ian Rutherford. John and Ian were in their early 20s while Fane was 31. John was a solicitor, Ian a farmer, and Fane worked as a stockbroker.

“They were ordinary Old Boys, but their service and sacrifice that we commemorate today was extraordinary.”

Chapel Prefect Yusef Elnahas and Deputy Head Prefect Ollie Jones led the prayers and Bible readings at the service, after which the wreaths were laid in the Chapel.