I thought I’d close my coverage of New Zealand’s commemoration of our landing on Gallipoli, 100 years ago, by revealing a curious point. We don’t know how many Kiwis fought there.
The official figure of 8556, which seems to have been plucked out of a quick add-up of some numbers in one report, is almost certainly wrong. Efforts since to identify the actual number have tripped up over double-counting – men wounded early in the campaign who returned later.
What we do know is that 7447 Kiwis were killed or wounded during the eight-and-a-half month campaign. Of these, 2779 were killed. They were not the first soldiers to die for New Zealand, and nor were they the last, but it was this campaign – and the date of landing – that came to symbolise all New Zealand’s war dead.
Curious but true. And that, folks, is it on matters military. For a while anyway. Watch this space for regular writing posts, science, humour and more, coming up.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015