A free public lecture in Hastings on Thursday will explore one of the most significant events in New Zealand’s military history, the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I.
"The Gallipoli Campaign – Muddle, Myth and Meaning” is the title of a professorial lecture by Professor Glyn Harper from the University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies.
It will be the first time Professor Harper has presented material from his new book, Letters from Gallipoli, New Zealand Soldiers Write Home, which tells the story of the battle of Gallipoli through a collection of letters written by New Zealand soldiers.
Professor Harper and his wife Susan collected 600 letters over two years, with about a third appearing in the book.
The letters are compiled largely unedited. Professor Harper has kept grammar, punctuation and spelling changes to a minimum, choosing to view them as they are and preserving their imperfections.
“We have included the letters we consider to be most vivid,” Professor Harper says. These letters are important historical documents often written under the most extreme circumstances.”
Professor Harper says that surprisingly, more than 300 letters were published in New Zealand newspapers in 1915. “Clearly the New Zealand reading public was hungry for news of ‘their boys’ overseas, and newspapers served their appetite.
“They are at times painful, sad and frustrating but offer a unique first-hand account of what New Zealand soldiers endured at Gallipoli and a more complete recognition of their place in the nation’s history.”
The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House at 6.30pm on April 7. To reserve a seat at the lecture please contact Events Manager Anna Hamilton on 06-350-5872 or email email@example.com