Private A. J. StokiePrint Page Print this page

The gates commemorate Private A. J. Stokie who died while a prisoner of war in Ambon during World War Two. 

During the Anzac Day service in Stoneyford, the ceremony of unveiling the memorial gates dedicated to the memory of Pte. A. J. Stokie, who paid the supreme sacrifice, took place. Mr. T. V. Moore was chairman and those in attendance included the Rev. P. Roberts, Timboon; Cr. G. Wiltshire, Heytesbury Shire Council; Mr. L. Simpkin, Cobden sub-branch R.S.L. There was a very large attendance, including many district children. The service commenced with two minutes' silence, followed by the National Anthem. The chairman (Mr. Moore), in his opening remarks, referred to the purpose of the ceremony and in addressing the children explained the purpose of Anzac Day and its selection as a day of remembrance after Australia's and New Zealand's baptism of fire in World War I., the struggle for peace in the interval between the wars, and then World War II. He referred to the link with the day's ceremony of the soldiers of the district who had served their country, their recognition by the people on return, and the recognition that day of a district fallen soldier of World War II.—Private A. J. Stokie. Mr. Moore asked the children to regard the memorial as a symbol of peace and to strive and work for such peace. The Rev. P. Roberts conducted the service for the singing of the hymn, "O God Our Help in Ages Past," and the Recessional.

Cr. Wiltshire expressed his pleasure at being present on such an occasion as the Anzac service and the dedication of such a fitting symbol to mark the sacrifice of a local Soldier. Mr. Simpkin in his address congratulated the people of Stoneyford in inaugurating an Anzac Day service in their district. He referred to the Australian soldiers' splendid record as shock troops during both world wars and spoke of the first two occasions during World War I, in the Anzac Light Horse drive at Gaza which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem and later in the attack on the Hindenburg line, and the next two occasions in World War II, when the Anzacs made history at El Alamein and then in their splendid fighting in the jungles of New Guinea and the islands close to Australia. He asked the people to remember the deeds and sacrifices that men and women had made so that we could live in peace. The service concluded with the benediction. In the ceremony of unveiling the memorial gates the Rev. Mr. Roberts remarked that it was an occasion for sorrow and pride. Sorrow in the death of a local soldier and pride to think that the people of Stoneyford felt they should pay tribute to Private Stokie and erect such ornamental gates to his memory. From remarks made to him it was evident that Private Stokie had been a fine Christian character, of retiring disposition and of a generous and sincere nature. Mr. Roberts made reference to the fact that the late Private Stokie's mother was present at the ceremony, having travelled from Fern Tree Gully for the purpose. He then unveiled an ornamental pillar which contains a granite plaque bearing the following inscription:— "Erected by the residents of Stoneyford in memory of Private A. J. Stokie. Died prisoner of war, Ambon, March, 1945." Heads were bowed while the monument was dedicated in prayer. Many beautiful floral tributes were then laid at the base of the pillar and the ceremony concluded with the benediction.
Camperdown Chronicle (Vic), 5 May 1947.


Address:Cobden - Stonyford Road, Stonyford Hall, Stonyford, 3260
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.325009
Long: 143.329868
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Gates
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 25th April, 1947
Left Side Inscription

Erected by the residents of Stonyford

In memory of Pte. A. J. Stokie

Died Prisoner of War


March, 1945


Source: RSLV, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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