In commemoration of the landing and sacrifice of New Zealand troops at Anzac cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the New Zealand government declared 25 April a half day holiday “Anzac Day”, commencing at 1:00pm 25 April 1916.
During April 1916 the main New Zealand contingent “The New Zealand Division”, including many¹ of the New Zealand troops that were evacuated from the abandoned Anzac cove area in December 1915, arrived in France from Egypt.
The Gallipoli campaign cost New Zealand nearly 7,500 casualties, including 2,721 dead.
During the WWI centenary period, fields of remembrance were created at various places around the country, including one for the fallen of the Wellington region, at the Wellington botanical gardens.
1. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade remained in Egypt, tasked with protecting the Suez canal.
From my urban forest I look out onto the bay. Often renowned for its wild winds, I often come across the Bay at calm.
Today it is a lovely shade of blue and soft looking like blue moleskin.
I see it through the trees and ferns which I won’t chop away (not entirely ) as they give me privacy from the neighbours.
Many trees here are cicada chewed. Those drag lines cut into the bark. I don’t know if cicadas eat tree ferns or not. I hope not.
When the bay is wild with the waves crashing onto the beach the sound travels up the valley. Sometimes the sound of the waves and the sound of the wind in the trees sounds the same.
Today 100 years ago saw the end of the last major assault to secure the Ottoman position at Hill 60 at Gallipoli.
The unsuccessful attack on Hill 60 resulted in over 1,100 allied casualties and was part of the last major offensive of the Gallipoli Campaign during the war.
The August campaign included the Battle of Sari Bair ( 6 to 21 August) the Battle of Scimitar Hill (21 August) and the Battle for Hill 60 (21 – 29 August).
As part of the 100 year commemoration of New Zealand participation in the war, the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, features a truly magnificent and moving exhibit “Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War” that includes 6 sculptures at 2.4 times life scale.
Saturday 25 April 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the landing of mainly Australian and New Zealand troops on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula. This was an attempt to secure the Dardanelles for the Allied navies but became a bitter eight month long campaign. This campaign saw the birth of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and 25 April became a public holiday of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC Day).
For this 100th anniversary Wellington put on her finest, a new memorial park, (Pukeahu War Memorial Park) new exhibits at the National War Memorial and the National Museum (Te Papa) and a light and sound show on the walls of the Dominion Museum Building
and carillon tower (National War Memorial).
Lest We Forget
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. *
*Ode of Remembrance from the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon.