August 07, 2015
Chunuk Bair Service tomorrow
The battle of Chunuk Bair which was the first time the Maori Native Contingent fought in WW1 is being commemorated with a ceremony at Auckland Museum tomorrow.
Historian Dr Monty Soutar who is writing a book on the Maori contribution to the war, says Chunuk Bair is in many ways more significant than ANZAC day when we played second fiddle to the Austalians.
He says the assault on Chunuk Bair during the first week of August was a New Zealand show where the Maori contingent undertook a rifle and bayonet charge on Turkish trenches suffering horrendous casualties with 100 of the 300 contingent killed.
Dr Soutar says the Maori Contingent's bayonet and rifle charge up Chunuk Bair was the most successful part of the campaign and pakeha New Zealand who fought alongside them realised their qualities as fighters and had a new found respect as a result.
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