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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

A Note by the Author

page 330

A Note by the Author.

Thanks are due, and are here tendered, to Generals Sir Ian Hamilton and Sir William Birdwood for their most interesting forewords. They with their authority and special knowledge, have said what might have been difficult for a New Zealand officer.

I might also be permitted to say that from Sir James Allen I have received most sympathetic encouragement. Any criticisms that I have made appear without alteration, as the opinion of myself speaking for the soldiers. My only aim has been to put the case before the people of New Zealand as it occurred to the soldiers serving overseas.

The writing of this volume has not been easy. The records of the New Zealanders at Gallipoli are far from complete, as Embarkation Rolls, War Diaries and Returns of Casualties were kept by soldiers who frequently became casualties; often the stress was so great that the continuity of these records was broken. As the Company or Regimental records box was sometimes lost altogether, it is difficult to reconstruct the story. But by the aid of diaries, soldiers' letters, personal experience and the willing assistance of old comrades, this story of the New Zealanders at Gallipoli has been written. It would be easier to write a history of the Crimean war, for the soldiers who fought at Inkerman are nearly all dead, but many of the veterans of Gallipoli happily survive and are keen critics. I can only throw myself on their charity.

For considerable help, particularly in the later chapters, I am indebted to Major Wallingford, M.C., Lt.-Colonel Powles, C.M.G., D.S.O., Lt.-Colonel Grigor, D.S.O., Major Lampen, D.S.O., Major Blair, D.S.O., M.C., and Colonel Findlay, C.B.; to my thousand and one other helpers—distinguished generals, unknown soldiers, and harassed typists—I can only say “Thank you!” They will understand that a record of their names would be almost a nominal roll of the Main Body and the Staff of Base Records.

The photographs are unique in that they were all taken by soldiers serving in the line. Working on my own collection as a basis I was fortunate enough to secure those of Captain Boxer, N.Z.M.C., and Sergeant Tite, N.Z.E., whose beautiful photographs will be found duly acknowledged. Just before going to Press I received a number of photographs taken by members of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, in December 1918, and to Colonel Findlay and Captain Douglas Deans special thanks are due. Wherever possible photographs have been acknowledged, but some of which I cannot trace the owners are included. From these I shall be glad to hear, so that acknowledgment may be made in future editions. It is only right to say that whenever I have asked a soldier or a sailor for permission to use photographs, that permission has been freely given. In not one case has there been a refusal—for that is the way of the men of Anzac.

My rough maps and sketches have been transformed into works of art by A. E. West, Esq., and W. Bedkober, Esq. Through an error on my part the scale on the map of Anzac, page 111 is wrong. All distances in the Anzac area should be measured on the large folded map at the end of the volume.

I cannot say how indebted I am to J. Jeffery, Esq., of Anderson's Bay, Dunedin, for valuable suggestions, and to W. Slater, Esq., who has helped me with the proofs.

In a work of this kind—a pioneer effort—there must necessarily be slight inaccuracies. I shall be glad to hear from any reader who detects such.


November, 1919