Voices of Gallipoli
In the 1980s, Maurice Shadbolt began to research New Zealand’s part in the tragic Gallipoli campaign of 1915 – research which was to lead to his stage play Once on Chunuk Bair, a television documentary, and this book Voices of Gallipoli. Voices of Gallipoli is compelling testimony to a pilgrimage which began and ended with visits to Turkey’s haunted Gallipoli peninsula where the bones of nearly 3000 New Zealanders rest. To tell their story Maurice Shadbolt read through official documents, memoirs, war histories and diaries furtively kept by New Zealanders during their cruel seven months on the peninsula. He also talked to many of the small and diminishing band of veterans with vivid memories of the long, futile and ferocious battles that took so many New Zealand lives. Most of these soldiers had never brought themselves to talk honestly of Gallipoli before. Some had never talked of it at all. All knew that it was their last chance to confide their remarkable tales of suffering and survival. Maurice Shadbolt tells their stories with skill and lucidly backgrounds the campaign they survived.
It is a remarkable document: the distilled memories of a dozen old men who innocently set out to do battle as loyal sons of the British Empire and returned home betrayed, embittered and disillusioned – and New Zealanders.
Maurice Shadbolt (1932-2004) is the author of twelve novels, four books of stories and a number of works of non-fiction. Among them are several now considered New Zealand classics. He received the CBE for services to literature in 1989 and in 1997 was capped Honorary Doctor of Literature by the University of Auckland. This latest edition of Voices of Gallipoli is published to commemorate 100 years since the landing of New Zealanders at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915.