Gallipoli - the Battle for the summit
8-9 August 1916
In August 1915 the New Zealanders spearheaded the advance to seize the heights of the Sari Bair Range that dominated the coast above Anzac Cove. The plan was to take the heights and open the way to Europe through Constantinople [Istanbul].
Opposite: The steep terrain of the Heights - soldiers climbed this face in the dark.
At On 8 August, the Wellington Battalion, under their inspirational leader Lieutenant Colonel William Mallone captured the highest point of the mountain range - Chunuk Bair.
In two days of fierce fighting they fought off wave after wave of attacks.
Corporal Cyril Bassett, was awarded the Victoria Cross for laying a telephone line to Chunuk Bair in full daylight and under continuous fire.
By the morning of the 9th August the battle was lost. Colonel Mallone was killed on the summit, and relieving British troops were unable to hold the position.
779 New Zealanders were killed
Cyril Basset commented on his Victoria Cross - “All my mates got were wooden crosses
For more information:
Gallipoli - the New Zealand Story / Christopher Pugsley
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