Many more Kiwis at Gallipoli than previously thought

New evidence uncovered in New Zealand strongly suggests twice as many New Zealanders served in the Dardanelles campaign than has previously been thought. Research by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force shows more than 16 000 soldiers were at Gallipoli, rather than 8556 as previously thought. The new information comes from recently discovered notebooks and is reported on Radio New Zealand and by Tony Wright on News Hub.

The discovery is being hailed as one of the greatest discoveries in New Zealand military history. It shows the Kiwi contribution to the campaign was greater than previously thought – though it brings casualty rates back to roughly the same as Australia’s.

One wonders how many other previously accepted figures and ‘facts’ may need to be revised. This new discovery has been done under official auspices; that should make it easier for the new figures to be accepted. By contrast, it has not been easy to get Australian official gatekeepers – and even some historians – to accept that less fundamental but still dearly-held notions (such as those relating to the supposed ‘Ataturk words’) are so much tosh.

David Stephens

23 March 2016

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