As the sun slowly rises at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli on tomorrow, Cadet Under Officer Victor Low from 703 (City of Fremantle) Squadron of the Australian Air Force Cadets, Western Australia, will be one of the many thousands present for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.
Victor is an ex officio member of the Australian Defence Force Contingent to Gallipoli for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service Commemorations and, later the same morning, at Lone Pine.
The senior cadet is this year’s recipient of the Cadet Sergeant Ellie Tibble Memorial Scholarship, which funds an Australian Air Force Cadet to attend the ANZAC Day vigil at the 1915 Gallipoli landings battlefield.
“I’m deeply honoured to have been chosen as the scholarship recipient for 2016,” Victor said.
“This pilgrimage to Gallipoli will be one that I remember with gratitude, and hold in high regard, for the rest of my life.
“The Gallipoli landings were the first nationally significant military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the First World War, and it’s profoundly moving to reflect that 8141 Australians died there – more than 2000 on the first day alone – and during the eight-month campaign, nearly 18,000 more were wounded.”
Victor said the Cadet Sergeant Ellie Tibble Memorial Scholarship selection process was rigorous, involving a written application, interviews by senior officers from the Air Force Cadets and Royal Australian Air Force, and a 15-minute presentation on Gallipoli.
Although 18-year old Victor has only been in the Air Force Cadets for just over four years, he learned to fly solo in gliders (at age 15) and powered aircraft (at age 16) – coming dux in both courses.
In addition, he has served in the Fremantle squadron as Chief Instructor, Cadet Squadron Warrant Officer, as an instructor on squadron recruiting camps, and for cadet-corporal training.
As well as possessing a keen interest in flying, Victor has also represented Western Australia as a team member in the Air Force Cadets national shooting competition.
He is currently studying engineering at Curtin University but is considering a career as a commercial aviation pilot.
And having participated in ANZAC Day overnight vigils at the Fremantle War Memorial, Air Force Cadet Under Officer Victor Low is no stranger to experiencing the awe, sadness and humility that acknowledges, honours and thanks our fallen heroes at Australia’s ground zero – Gallipoli.
Victor is accompanied to Gallipoli by Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Nick Dodd, Commanding Officer 704 Squadron, whose great uncle was one of the Australians who died at Gallipoli.
The Cadet Sergeant Ellie Tibble Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to an Australian Air Force Cadet to travel as an ex officio member of the Australian Defence Force Contingent to Gallipoli for the ANZAC Day commemorations.
An Australian Air Force Cadets staff member accompanies the Cadet.
The Scholarship is rotated around the States each year.