One hundred and four years after the Battle of Chunuk Bair took place in Gallipoli, wreaths were placed at Stratford's Malone Gates.

On Thursday at 9.30am, members of the public joined mayor Neil Volzke, councillors and Stratford District Council staff to honour those who gave their lives in the infamous battle.

Wreaths were laid by the mayor and returned services representative Dave West during the ceremony.

Mayor Neil Volzke placed a wreath at the Malone Gates during the ceremony to commemorate the battle of Chunuk Bair.
Mayor Neil Volzke placed a wreath at the Malone Gates during the ceremony to commemorate the battle of Chunuk Bair.

Just before the ceremony started, Robert Hiri raised a special flag, placing a photo of the flag on the ground at the gates, with an army hat on top of it.

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Robert, from Gore, says he travelled from Whanganui that morning, in order to "honour Lt Col Malone, and all those who died in the battle".

"I missed turning up last year, so wanted to come this year. I am a reservist myself, and really wanted to show respect to the men who fought at Gallipoli."

Robert Hiri travelled from Whanganui to pay his respects at the service on Thursday.
Robert Hiri travelled from Whanganui to pay his respects at the service on Thursday.

He says the flag he raised is a copy of the XI Taranaki Regiment flag, the regiment in which Lt Col William Malone served.

"This was the flag of his regiment. The original is in St Mary's in New Plymouth."

He also placed a New Zealand Army Felt hat at the gates. More commonly known as a "Lemon Squeezer", the hat was invented by Malone himself.

He came up with the idea of adapting the original hat following a period of heavy rain during the regiment's annual camp at Takapau in 1911. By eliminating the front and back dents in the crown of the hat, instead pinching the hat to create four dents, the hat was able to shed water quickly, while also representing Mount Taranaki in shape.

"The hat is part of Malone's history, and I was honoured to place it here on display for the day."

Robert left the hat and flag at the gates for the day to give people a visual reminder of the regiment and the history.

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A photo of the XI Taranaki Regiment flag was placed under a lemon squeezer hat by Robert Hiri.
A photo of the XI Taranaki Regiment flag was placed under a lemon squeezer hat by Robert Hiri.

He also went to the cemetery to raise a second copy of the flag, saying he wanted to show respect to another Taranaki military man.

"Lt Col Jardine was in the same regiment and also fought in the war. So I am going there too today to show my respects."


Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone is perhaps the best-known New Zealander to serve at Gallipoli, with his name linked to the battle of Chunuk Bair.

The battle for Chunuk Bair was the most significant action in the Gallipoli Campaign undertaken by the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces (NZEF).

Taking place from August 6 to 10, 1915, the battle was part of the August Offensive, in which the Allied troops sought to seize the Sari Bair heights from the Ottoman Forces.

Malone was a keen military man, who had studied tactics and famous military campaigns in his leisure time throughout his life. Early in the Gallipoli campaign he suggested a left-hook flanking attack on the high ground of the Sari Bair Range as the best chance of getting on top of the Turks. At that stage, his plan may have succeeded with few lives lost.

Months later, Malone was ordered to carry out the same operation he had proposed earlier. But this time, the Turks were in control of the heights.

Malone showed great foresight in the lead up to what was to be his final battle, calling a meeting of the regimental fund committee on August 4, suggesting that £200 be sent to Egypt to purchase items that would be needed for the battalion's wounded and the fund's books to be returned to Egypt for safekeeping. That fund was later to be invaluable in helping wounded Wellington battalion men to purchase essential personal items.

Malone's men took the summit of Chunuk Bair before dawn on August 8.

They held the peak all day, waiting for British back-up which never arrived.

There was no telephone line between Chunuk Bair and the brigade headquarters at the Apex, so Malone had to send messages back with wounded men.

Reinforcements from the Auckland Mounted Rifles succeeded in reaching Chunuk Bair in the early afternoon, but it was clear any more substantial reinforcements could not be moved until after nightfall.

By the time the Otago Battalion and the Wellington Mounted Rifles arrived to provide reinforcements, just 70 Wellington battalion men out of 760 were still holding the line.

Malone was one of the fallen, killed by an artillery shell sometime around 5pm on August 8.