Remembering New Zealanders at Chunuk Bair

26 April 2018

About 500 people paid their respects to the fallen yesterday at the New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair on the Gallipoli peninsula.

While Chunuk Bair contains the named headstones of just eight New Zealanders, another 850 names are on the Memorial to the Missing, making it the largest New Zealand commemorative site in Gallipoli.

The commemorative address was given by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, who spoke of members of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, who returned in 1918 to tend to the graves of their fallen comrades.

“The New Zealand soldiers who returned in 1918 marvelled at how the Anzacs ever managed to hold on to their tiny beachhead and were moved by the evidence of loss and sacrifice that surrounded them,” Dame Patsy said.

“The centenary of the First World War has prompted a great deal of important new research into the traumatic events at Gallipoli in 1915.” 

She said while there were 413 identified graves on the peninsula of New Zealanders who died at Gallipoli, there are also 1,920 who are commemorated on the memorial to the missing at Chunuk Bair, Hill 60, Lone Pine and Twelve Tree Copse.

“The memorials to the missing are like the cemeteries that dot this land: physical expressions of personal and national loss and grief,” Dame Patsy said.

“Each name represents a tragedy for a family and New Zealand. We must honour and remember them all.”

Chief of the New Zealand Army Major General Peter Kelly delivered the prologue and laid a wreath on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force.

This service was particularly special for New Zealand Services Director Elaine Myers-Davies, who had the honour of wearing the Ngā Tupuwae kahu huruhuru, or cloak. For the past 10 years she has been at every Anazc Day on the peninsular, organising the services at Gallipoli.

“To have the honour of wearing the cloak is not one that I take lightly,” Ms Myers-Davies said.

“It is something quite special to have this honour bestowed on me, in a place that has been the backdrop to so much of my working life over the past decade.” 

Ms Myers-Davies delivered the Poroporoaki, or farewell, to end the service at Chunuk Bair.

Representatives from Australia included Peter Dutton, Minister for Home Affairs, Immigration and Boarder Protection Australia, and Air Marshal Leo Davies, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The service was live streamed for the first time on the New Zealand Defence Force Facebook page and can be viewed at:

This page was last reviewed on 7 February 2019.