The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union will pay tribute to former club players, members and officials who were involved in World War I.

The centenary of the Anzac landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey during World War I will be remembered this Saturday, Anzac Day.

Among the remembrance ceremonies and activities across the Bay, club rugby teams have been asked to line up for an Anzac remembrance before each match, which will include a minute's silence.

Many former club rugby players and club members from the Bay were involved in the war efforts during World War I.


Bay of Plenty Rugby Union historian Brent Drabble's grandfather Joseph Newsome Drabble joined the crusade in Gallipoli.

Joseph, commonly known as Joe, played for Te Puke United, now known as Te Puke Sports Rugby Club, from 1912-1913 before he served at Gallipoli. He also represented the Paengaroa Rugby Football Club.

Drabble was wounded in action preventing him from continuing his rugby career but returned to Te Puke, dying in 1971 just short of his 80th birthday. Drabble was wounded just weeks before the war finished. He commenced service in August 1914 and was discharged in January 1920.

John James Douglas was another Te Puke United rugby player and he represented the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union in 1912. He played two out of three Bay of Plenty representative matches that year.

Douglas was killed in action on August 8, 1915 at Chunuk Bair.

Eastern Bay of Plenty's Thomas Simpkins played club rugby for Whakatane's Taneatua Rugby Club.

In 1911, Simpkins was one of Bay of Plenty's first New Zealand Maori representatives. Simpkins was wounded in Gallipoli and died later as a result of his injures on September 1, 1915.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said the Anzac centenary was a very important day for the union.


"This day is an opportunity for the rugby community in the Bay of Plenty to join together to mark our respects and acknowledge those individuals that have served our country.

"We will remember those who fought and died, with great gratitude.

"Our ability to enjoy our life today including the opportunity for our community to participate in a sport we love is due in no small part to the role our service men and women have played throughout history.

"We also wish to acknowledge the dedication and bravery of current New Zealand and Australian armed forces personnel serving around the world."