Private Syd Haldane Heald may have been the bravest man not to be awarded a medal at Gallipoli.

But Heald was every inch the hero when he put his life on the line for an officer lying seriously wounded in the Daisy Patch.

Lieutenant Blyth Macfarlane of the Auckland Infantry Battalion was shot three times as he was advancing, in the face, arm and back.

The 32-year-old Heald (right), of the 3rd Auckland Company, immediately went to his aid but was shot and killed himself.


A second man, Bickerton, also tried but was wounded himself and driven back by the heavy fire.

Macfarlane paid tribute to the two men when he returned to New Zealand in July 1915 to recover from his wounds.

"After I had been lying there for half an hour, Heald came wriggling over to me," he said.

"He tried to get me on his back, but no sooner had he got on to his knees and endeavoured to lift me than he was shot dead.

"He must have been killed instantly.

"A little later Bickerton came crawling to my aid. Before he could get to me he was pinked through the arm.

"Nothing daunted, others of my company prepared to sacrifice their lives for me.

"I called out to them not to try again, and simply had to order them away."


Bickerton's identity is unclear, as Macfarlane did not give his full name.

But Heald, who worked as a jeweller in Auckland before he enlisted, was a well-known sprinter who left Wellington with the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on October 16, 1914.

"Syd Heald died a hero, under a hail of bullets, when he went to the assistance of Lieutenant J.B. Macfarlane, one of our officers," said his mate Corporal George Wilson.

"There is some sort of merciful influence at work that stops a man from thinking of all the mates that have gone.

"We all notice it."

Heald is buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery at Helles, Gallipoli, and remembered on the roll of honour at Devonport Museum.