Lone Pine memorial is Kiwi, not Australian

(Reuters)
(Reuters)

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of the start of the last major Allied assault at Gallipoli, the Battle of Hill 60, which cost the lives of more than 220 New Zealanders.

To honour those fallen Kiwis, the majority of whose bodies were never recovered, New Zealand erected a memorial to the missing on Hill 60 after the war.

It is one of five built on Gallipoli dedicated to our soldiers.

But because Australia didn't build its own memorial on the peninsula, they have had to adopt one of ours.

Each Anzac Day on Gallipoli, thousands of Kiwis gather at the impressive New Zealand memorial on Chunuk Bair to remember our fallen, while Australia honours its soldiers at Lone Pine.

The memorial serves as the centrepiece of each Australian service at Gallipoli, yet on it are the names of 753 New Zealand soldiers who have no known grave.

Military historian Dr Chris Pugsley says Australia has had to borrow the Kiwi memorial to use as its own.

"There isn't [an Australian memorial on Gallipoli]. There is an imperial monument, or what we call now a Commonwealth one at Cape Helles, but the only country that has a series of national memorials is New Zealand."

That is because after the war, the New Zealand Government went against the wishes of Great Britain and built its own memorials on the exact ground where Kiwi soldiers fought and died. Australia simply went along with Britain's shared memorials.

Dr Pugsley has attended dozens of memorial services on Gallipoli, and says the one at Chunuk Bair to mark the centenary of the landing will be forever remembered by the Kiwis who were there.

"When that Corporal Hickman blew that century old bugle, then the flood spreads, the dam broke, and I thought, 'how marvellous to be a New Zealander at this moment'."

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