THE NEW ZEALANDERS AT GALLIPOLI - An Account of the New Zealand Forces during the Gallipoli Campaign
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THE NEW ZEALANDERS AT GALLIPOLI – An Account of the New Zealand Forces during the Gallipoli Campaign
"The New Zealanders at Gallipoli," was researched and compiled by Major Fred Waite (21 August 1885 – 29 August 1952), D.S.O., N.Z.E., C.M.G., V.D., who served with the main body and the N.Z. & A. Division as a Staff Officer of Engineers during the Great War. During the Second World War, Waite was overseas commissioner for the National Patriotic Fund Board and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services in this role.
In the introduction he wrote “These popular histories of New Zealand's share in the Great War are designed to present to the people of New Zealand the inspiring record of the work of our sons and daughters overseas.”
The movements of the ANZACs are traced from their various points of departure around New Zealand, via Australia to Colombo, Aden and through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to eventual disembarkation at Alexandria, Egypt. After a spell of training in Egypt, the Anzacs were shipped across the Mediterranean to the Gallipoli peninsula in the Dardanelles in Northwest Turkey with an objective to capturing the peninsula as a prelude to invading Turkey and capturing Istanbul.
Waite details the landing of the ANZACs on 25 April 1915, the many skirmishes and drives to get the “upper hand” and the eventual evacuation in December 1915. Also included are many photographs of the terrain, encampments and maps to put the images into context, all of which give the reader a good feel for layout and the conditions being experienced by the troops. To this day, 25 April is celebrated in New Zealand and Australia as "Anzac Day".
The Dardanelles were known in Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont, and in effect forms the continental boundary between Europe and Asia. Their importance was recognised as far back as 482BC. Herodotus tells us that at this time Xerxes I of Persia (the son of Darius the Great) had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. History also tells us they were vital to the defence of Constantinople during the Byzantine period of History (330AD – 1453AD). Their importance was also recognised by the Ottoman Empire (1354AD –1922AD) which was allied to Germany during the Great War, hence the attempt by the Allies to wrest control of the Dardanelles from Turkey in 1915.