In the Words of New Zealand’s Mounted Riflemen
The battles on Gallipoli in 1915 were crucial in making New Zealand the nation it is today. The huge sacrifice of life has affected the country for generations, and our annual formal remembrances on Anzac Day have become increasingly important. It is twenty years since the full story of Gallipoli was last told in book form. Now a new book will add significantly to our understanding of the events of 1915 on the Gallipoli penisula.
Terry Kinloch tells the story with the help of members of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, who emerged from Gallipoli battered and depleted, but with reputations
enhanced. He has thoroughly researched their letters and diaries, and cleverly interspersed their eyewitness comments into his text. The result is a book that reads with the immediacy of actually being there. It is a fresh way of telling history, and one that is sure to find a response among New Zealanders today.
The full story is here: the call-up, the sea journey, camp in Egypt, the eventual arrival in Gallipoli, all the battles and skirmishes that were fought there, and finally the remarkable evacuation several months later.
Terry Kinloch was commissioned into the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in 1983, and completed operational tours in Bougainville, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Egypt. His years of service in the last Regular Force mounted rifles unit in the New Zealand Army, combined with a few years of equestrian competition in the 1990s, led him to want to tell the little-known story of New Zealand’s horse-mounted soldiers in the First World War. With a long-standing interest in military history, he is the author of several journal articles. He lives in Wellington with his family, and works at Joint Forces HQ as Joint Staff Officer Grade 1 Current Operations.
The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade
This book tells the story of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and its service in the Gallipoli campaign. As we look back, almost 90 years later, we reflect on what was a terrible but hugely significant episode in our history. The service and the immense sacrifice of the brigade along with the rest of the New Zealanders in that campaign has developed a special meaning. It was at Gallipoli that we New Zealanders began to develop our own unique identity.
I visited Gallipoli in both 1995 and 2000 for significant anniversaries of the Anzac landings. I toured the battlefields and in 2000 saw the grave of my great-uncle, Frank Clark, a trooper in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, who was killed at Hill 60 in August 1915.
My great-uncle and his colleagues came ashore into a war few of them could have ever imagined before they left New Zealand. One New Zealand soldier wounded at Chunuk Bair described it as ‘hell’. He said it was ‘utterly lonely and hopeless. Bursting shells all around, confusion all around too. War at its worst!’ This was the everyday experience of ordinary soldiers at Gallipoli.
My great-uncle wrote home from Hill 60 on 21 August that: ‘there are stray bullets flying everywhere and one stands a chance of “stopping one” at any time. Our sergeant was standing in our trench yesterday and he got one in the right breast.’ He wrote further: ‘the big guns from land and sea make an awful row and this is accompanied always with machine guns and rifle fire. We can hear the shells screaming overhead and the shrapnel bursting all day long.’ He died seven days later.
Of 8556 New Zealand soldiers who served on the Gallipoli peninsula, 2721 died and 4752 were wounded. The suffering of their families was great too. For a small country, with a population in 1915 of only some one million people, this was a human tragedy on an unprecedented scale which affected almost every New Zealand family. The men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade played an important role and this book tells their tale. It will help to preserve their experiences for generations of future New Zealanders.
Lest we forget.
Helen Clark – Prime Minister
1 War with Germany 29
2 We might be a long time getting home 51
3 Egypt 69
4 When will we fight? 90
5 At last, Gallipoli! 113
6 The Defence of Anzac 130
7 No. 3 Outpost 146
8 Life and death on Gallipoli 157
9 Interlude 174
10 The Covering Force battle 188
11 Chunuk Bair 207
12 New Zealand’s finest hour 221
13 Anyone’s mutton 233
14 So long Johnnie … 252
Acknowledgements: photographs and maps 315
Name: Echoes of Gallipoli
Editors: Terry Kinloch
Size: 242 x 184 mm
Pages: 320 pages, with extensive maps and photographs