The battle of Sari Bair was fought here on 6-10 August 1915. Some of the NZ troops did reach the summit of Chunuk Bair but they were forced off by a Turkish counter attack.
|Probably soldiers of the Wellington Mounted Rifles, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, occupying a trench on Table Top, Gallipoli, during the night of August 6. 1915, in preparation for the attack on Chunuk Bair.Alexander Turnbull Library, Ref: 1/4-058131-F.|
This is what it looked like in 1918:
The memorial (one of the four memorials to commemorate NZ soldiers with no known grave) bears more than 850 names. The cemetery was made after the end of the war and contains 632 graves. Only 10 of those men could be identified. We remembered more NZ soldiers here, including the Statham brothers from Dunedin.
The name of William Malone commander of the Wellington Battalion, killed in the attack on Chunuk Bair - is recorded, as is that of a boy soldier from Palmerston North, Private Martin Persson of the Wellington Infantry Battalion; he died on 8 August, aged 17.
This is the first place where we have been surrounded by other tourists, and nearly all of them were Turkish. We had a look around and gazed at the view but had to hurry back to the bus when we heard a thunderstorm in the distance. The weather is so changeable that we have our red jackets on and off all day. Yesterday we were caught in a hailstorm and had to shelter under trees, but most of the time we've been out in brilliant sunshine. The changing weather conditions help us to realise what the troops had to endure, living outdoors with little shelter.