Gallipoli Tea @ House of Lords on Tuesday 26th January 2016
The auspicious Tea was held in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords to mark the ‘End of the Gallipoli Campaign’
The members of both Gallipoli & Dardanelles International and Gallipoli Memorial Platform came together to pay/show respect to those that suffered during the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, regardless of the nations they came from.
The event was sponsored by the Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE and organised jointly by President John Crowe of G&DI whose father was a soldier at Suvla Bay and President Servet Hassan of GMP.
Baroness Hussein-Ece did the opening address followed by John Crowe and Servet Hassan. The eminent speakers were led by Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords whose father served as a Midshipman in the Royal Navy at Gallipoli at the age of 17 years. It was very kind of him to bring the bell from Suvla Bay which immeditely became the centre of attraction.
They were then followed by H.E. Mr Abdurrahman BIlgic, The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey. The High Commissioner of New Zealand, Sir Lockwood Smith, Brigadier Matthew Overton, Defence Adviser for Canada, and Lt Colonel Graham Price, Chief of Staff for Australia. These were followed by Mr Inderjeet Singh Nijhar and last not least by Mr Randolph Churchill, the great grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.
One hundred years on, it was reassuring to hear the peace and reconcilliation messages from all the parties involved.
Poems were then read by Turkish and Canadian students.
President John Crowe conveyed a message from the Mayor of Gelibolu, Mr Mustafa Ozacar, who is a Patron of G&DI. He expressed his regret at not being able to attend the event. He sent his very best wishes and good health to the organisers and the attending guests. In the words of Ataturk he wished for ‘Peace at Home, Peace in the World’.
The final event of the day was the presentation of a G&DI Certificate of Appreciation to Mr Nadir Imamoglu by H.E. The Turkish Ambassador. Mr Imamoglu created the Gallipoli Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum ten years ago. The first such memorial in the UK.
Presentations were then made to the Baroness of a G&DI Shield by John Crowe. Sets of Gallipoli centenary coins minted by the Turkish Mint were presented to both the Baroness and Mr Imamoglu by Servet Hassan.