6-10 August 1915
One hundred years on we remember the Battle for Chunuk Bair which was New Zealand’s most significant action in the Gallipoli Campaign. The battle, which took place from 6-10 August 1915, was part of the August Offensive, in which the Allies attempted to seize the Sari Bair heights from Ottoman (Turkish) forces. The Wellington Battalion captured Chunuk Bair early on 8 August, but they, and other New Zealand units, suffered extensive losses defending it.
Chunuk Bair was lost two days later to the Ottoman forces after a series of counterattacks. The Battle for Chunuk Bair was also notable as the first major engagement of the Maori Contingent and as the action that led to the awarding of New Zealand’s only Victoria Cross of the Gallipoli Campaign to Corporal Cyril Bassett.
Members of the Maori Contingent gathering on the beach at Gallipoli. The Contingent arrived at Gallipoli on 3 July 1915, and was attached to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade during the August Offensive.