From the Classroom to the Gallipoli Battlefield

Able Musician Fraser Robertson playing the tuba at Gallipoli 2014
Able Musician Fraser Robertson playing the tuba at Gallipoli 2014

26 April 2014

Te Awamutu's Able Musician (AMUS) Fraser Robertson (19) couldn't believe it when he was told he would be playing at Gallipoli on Anzac Day.

"Three years ago when I joined the Navy band one of my goals was to play at Gallipoli. I was so excited when I got the news I called my parents straight away," said AMUS Robertson.

The talented tuba player was part of the New Zealand Defence Force Band that played at the Anzac Commemorative Dawn Service and the New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair.

"What an amazing, humbling experience. It was an honour to play for those who have gone before me," he said.

While he had studied the Gallipoli Campaign at Te Awamutu College AMUS Robertson said it was nothing compared to walking the battlefields and visiting the cemeteries.

"Our contingent spent the day visiting sites where our soldiers had fought and died. It was a chance to pay our respects and tell them they are not forgotten," said AMUS Robertson.
"We then walked from Outpost 2 on the flat to the top of Chunuk Bair. It was tough going and pretty steep and took us about one and a half hours.

“Our troops managed it in one and a half days and they were sick, being shot at and carrying heavy packs."

AMUS Robertson says a lasting memory is that many of the fallen were 19 just like him.

"It's important we never forget what those young men did for us so we can live the way we do today."

For AMUS Robertson Gallipoli has reinforced for him that made the right decision in joining the Navy and he hopes that sometime in the future he may get the opportunity to go there again.



This page was last reviewed on 6 June 2014.