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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli


Although this volume deals specifically with the doings of the New Zealanders at Anzac, the Colonials who were there quite recognize that they played only a part in the Great Game. They fully appreciate the magnificent work of the Navy and of their French and British comrades who braved the same dangers, and worked together against the common foe.

The Men of Anzac know that a war correspondent cannot be in three places at once. What he sees he describes, and what he does not see he obviously must collect information about, and cannot do justice to. So perhaps the glory of the Anzac landing was magnified at the expense of the men who landed at Helles. Australians and New Zealanders alike agree that the Helles landing called for a greater show of discipline and self-sacrifice than was needed at Anzac—for Anzac was a surprise landing, Helles was not. But considerations of space, and the fact that volumes have already appeared dealing with the work of our British, French and Indian comrades, precludes full justice being done to their work in these pages.

In our own army there are two groups of soldiers that have to a certain extent been overlooked.

Even in the Colonial Armies we depended for light and a certain amount of leading on British Regular Officers—officers loaned before the war to the Colonial Forces,—and it is right that mention should be made of them here. For what in the days of its infancy would the N.Z. Expeditionary Force have been without the services of Colonel Braithwaite—“Dear Old Bill”—Colonel Johnston of the Gunners; Colonel Pridham of the R.E's; Major Temperley of the Infantry Brigade Staff, and a dozen others? They contributed much more than has been acknowledged to the initial successes of our New Zealand Army.

Of the second group it is difficult to write. It may have been noticed that most of the soldiers mentioned in this volume are men who were killed in action. There is perhaps more in this than meets the eye. For the men killed in action and the mortally wounded are those who put the fear of death into the Turk—men who by their impetuosity and their eagerness to close really established the Anzac front line. This meant personal leadership and absolute contempt for death. These men were often not officers—often they were privates, but natural leaders nevertheless. They were not necessarily university men or large employers of labour—sometimes they were miners and taxi-drivers—they were of the glorious democracy of the Front Line. Anyone, whatever his rank or social standing, could have demonstrated his claim to be a leader of men at Anzac.

We know that the list of decorations does not recognize all the gallant deeds performed on the field of action; and those left alive in the following list of soldiers decorated would be the first to admit that they knew of men long since killed who deserved greater reward. Think of a few of them: Lieut.-Colonel Stewart, of the Canterburys, who died on the day of the landing fighting for Walker's Ridge; Lieut.-Colonel Malone who died on the crest of Chunuk; Lieut.-Colonel Bauchop, mortally wounded in the advance that smashed the Turkish line; Major Statham, impetuous leader of men, who died in the forefront of the battle—each of these admittedly heroic souls passed away without receiving a decoration.

And these officers were only worthy of the men in the ranks—men who if they had lived, might have become great and famous soldiers, but who sacrificed themselves thus early in the struggle so that we who survived might carry on: Sergt. Wallace, one of our most page 308 promising Rhodes Scholars, who came straight from Oxford to a soldier's death while sapping out in front of Pope's; and the well-beloved Arthur Carbines, who, disregarding the terrors and the dangers on the crest of Chunuk, died so tragically endeavouring to rescue the body of his Colonel, the gallant Malone—these men are typical of the scores who received the small wooden cross which is the only distinction that the gallant thruster is likely to receive; and some do not have even a wooden cross, but die so far forward that they are buried by the Turks in nameless graves and to these is the greatest honour!