Anzac - The Chunuk Bair New Zealand National memorial

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Inscription on the New Zealand memorial at Chunuk Bair

CHUNUK BAIR NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL MEMORIAL

the Gallipoli Houses

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IF STONES COULD SPEAK - ANZAC

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Last updated : 11/03/07

Then came the long wait while the attackers crossed the gully.  To the waiting New Zealanders –the New Zealand Infantrymen who had penetrated farthest into Turkey- the minutes seemed hours.  But a shower of hand grenades announced the beginning of the end.  From the dead ground in the front came bombs and more bombs.  Away from the left came the Turkish shrapnel.  To fire at all, our men had to stand up in the trench and expose themselves almost bodily to view.  One by one they died on Chunuk, until after a few hours desperate struggle against overwhelming forces the only New Zealanders left alive were a dozen severely wounded.  But not for a long time did the first Turk dare show his head.  Then into the trench several crept with their bayonets to kill the wounded.  Fortunately a Turkish sergeant arrived and saved the lives of the wounded who were carried of to the German dressing stations behind Hill Q.  In all the history of the Gallipoli Campaign there is no finer story of fortitude, no finer exhibition of heroism and self-sacrifice, than was shown in this forward trench of Chunuk on that desperate August morning.  Here died some of the noblest characters in the New Zealand Army.  August 8 was a day of tragedy for New Zealand, but no day in our calendar shines with greater glory.

"The New Zealanders at Gallipoli”,
(Auckland 1921), Fred Waite, p. 220-221

 

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There is an observation post here... and from it one can see a large portion of the country over which we are operating. To that post about 4.15 went a procession of sleepy Generals and staff  carrying glasses, telescopes and anxiously awaiting the dawn, to show the success or otherwise of the troops. It began to get gradually lighter and all glasses were turned on the summit of Chunuk Bair, which was the only point of attack which could matter. Still it got lighter, and then someone said: ‘ I see men on Chunuk Bair.’ ‘They are our men’, and so they were. We reached the summit, should we hold it and should we progress?

Major General Frederick Shaw quoted in “Defeat at Gallipoli”, (London 2002), Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, p 239.