This year marks the 100th anniversary since the battle at Gallipoli and the New Zealanders’ Chunuk Bair offensive, considered to be one of the defining moments in New Zealand history and national identity.

The Gallipoli offensive at Anzac Cove in Turkey is well documented by military historians. ANZAC bravery won wide praise for reaching Chunuk Bair’s summit which they briefly held, but it grew into an unsuccessful campaign, the remaining soldiers withdrawn and eventually evacuated at nightfall from the peninsula. Over two thousand New Zealand soldiers died there, and many more were wounded.

PANZA would like to offer a tribute to New Zealand’s fallen in the form of verse authentic to the country at the time of World War One.

The anonymous poem, ‘On the Death of Col. Malone’, found by PANZA Archivist Mark Pirie, appeared in the Stratford Evening Post, Taranaki, in 1915. He also came across a second poem tribute “Love is Mightier Than Death” mentioning Col. Malone in Papers Past, the National Library of New Zealand’s website.

The subject of the poem Col. Malone (1859-1915), of the Wellington Battalion, was one of New Zealand’s prominent figures at Gallipoli, and successfully reached Chunuk Bair’s summit.

malone

Lieutenant Colonel William George Malone. McAllister, James, 1869-1952: Negatives of Stratford and Taranaki district. Ref: 1/1-012824-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22789124

Some details can be found in Papers Past (Taranaki Daily News, 26 October 1915):

The “Stratford Post” publishes a letter from Chaplain-Captain Father McMenamin, who is at Gallipoli, to Father Maples, in the course of which the reverend gentleman says, concerning the great fight on August 7th: “Our boys fought nobly, and I can say without boasting that there are no troops to excel them. No matter how severe the assault, they never broke or wavered for an instant. I cannot tell you of our losses, but the casualty lists will tell their own tale. The greatest loss that our Infantry Brigade suffered was in the death of Col. Malone. His work over here has been magnificent, and he has proved himself to be every inch a soldier. In this last great fight he rose to the occasion and made fame for himself and the battalion he commanded. On Sunday, August 7, his men had the foremost position, and from daylight till dark they fought like tigers. Colonel Malone, who did not know what fear was, remained all day in the thick of the battle; encouraging his brave men by his own example. About 6 p.m., he was struck down by a burst of shrapnel, and died without a word.”

Another report (Star, 10 January 1916) notes:

In the attack on Chunuk Bair [Malone’s] resolute leadership was an inspiration to his men. He was ever in the van, scorning all danger. Early in the day a rifle that he carried was pierced by a Turkish bullet. This interested him, and he said he would keep it as a memento of the fight. Whenever he moved forward or along the trench he picked up the battered rifle again and carried it with him. Finally he was shot through the head by a bullet from a shrapnel shell that burst over the trench. He sank back into the arms of one of his officers [Captain Hastings] and died painlessly on the highest point on the Peninsula attained by our arms.

In 1982, Maurice Shadbolt’s play, Once on Chunuk Bair, considered that Col. Malone was killed by ‘friendly fire’ from a British fleet ship firing shrapnel shells over the trench but historians don’t support this version of events (Shadbolt took it from Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli, 1965, that includes Captain Hastings’ report).

An article in the Evening Post tends to support Shadbolt’s and others’ version of events:

HIT BY BRITISH NAVAL SHRAPNEL.

Malone was close up to the fighting line, on foot, encouraging his men when he was struck. He was hit by shrapnel from a shell fired by one of our own ships. Four or five bullets struck him. The ships were doing their best to support the troops, firing over their heads from the sea. The Turks were so close, and the position occupied by the battalion was so difficult, that a good many casualties on our side were caused the same way. However, my informant seemed to regard this loss as inevitable, and not to be set against the value of the support given at the time by the ships’ guns.

He said that Col. Malone was exceedingly popular with his men; that he was a fine officer, and had done great service, which had been appreciated by his brigadier. The man also drew a picture of Malone’s energy and care for his men, and personal example to them. He said that each morning the colonel might be seen having a hard run to keep himself fit and in good condition; that often he had seen him with open shirt and sleeves rolled up, handling a shovel or axe or pick-axe, and showing how some piece of work should be done.

Shortly before his death Col. Malone had gone down to an English battalion (one of Kitchener’s new ones) which had lost most of its officers, and was under a murderous fire, and had helped to get it into order again. As a proof of his popularity, this man said that he was affectionately known among his men as “Mollie Malone.”

(Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue 117, 13 November 1915, Page 13)

An large number of tributes and obituaries for Col. Malone are in Papers Past searches near the time of his death. He was certainly a popular, well-known man in Taranaki and elsewhere who led by example.

The New Zealand public had remembered him also in verse.

Poem by “Hei-konei-ra”

ON THE DEATH OF COL. MALONE

The roll is called, and deathless names
Are written where the Book of Life
Tells of the lurid battle flames,
Of shot and steel, high hopes and aims,
Brave deeds amid a world of strife.
Such pages are for those alone,
Who heard the call that echoes through
The far-thrown aisles of Britain’s fame,
For in her hour of need they drew
Their swords, and at her call, they came.

On sunlit plain and dark defile
They carved their names, their thoughts and creeds,
And there Death’s Angel paused a while
And entered each – the rank and file –
And made a record of their deeds,
The silent witness of the dead
Perhaps alone, who watched them go,
Whose icy fingers slowly turned
The storied pages, moving slow,
When youth’s high courage fiercely burned.

And here is one, whose shield appears
Through Britain’s early years of stress,
Whose motto through the marching years
Was ever this – “That Justice hears
The weak one’s call and gives redress.”
It mattered not that his great creed
Might ask from him great sacrifice.
He only knew that for a space
He clothed a soul that never dies, –
A soul that asks no resting place.

Through the storm-tossed mantle falling –
Snows of ages – on the scroll
Of Britain’s fame a voice is calling
Gathering where the war drums roll:
“Brave one, thou has answered smiling,
Courage lights the stormy way
Of our noble children filing
Through valhalla’s halls to-day.”

(Stratford Evening Post, 26 August 1915)

A second poem tribute that is also related to Malone’s death appears in Papers Past by a woman poet of Kapuni, written whilst milking her cows:

LOVE IS MIGHTIER THAN DEATH.”
[In forwarding these lines, the writer —a woman—says that the thoughts are her own, and that she put them into verse one evening whilst she was milking her cows. She says, further that if love for our brothers, our little children, our aged, the freedom of our Empire and consideration for those who are suffering at the hands of our enemies, are roused within us, there will be no need for conscription.]

Let us take for an example
Brave Malone, and many more,
Who have given their lives for others
On that distant battle shore.
Their high service shows us plainly,
We must serve, too, one and all,
If we wish to save our Empire,
From a low and shameful fall.

How arousing, how appalling
Are the things we hear each day –
Think of all our comrades falling.
Who have gone and led the way:
Deck their memories with laurel,
Sing their praise in every clime;
Their great deeds will ring for ages,
Through the corridors of time.

While we speak thus of the fallen,
Let us think of those in pain,
Who will bear the scars of battle,
When they come to us again:
When their stories stir the feeling,
Till our hearts are caught for breath,
We will feel the truth revealing –
“Love is mightier than death.”

Let us now be truly brothers,
Prove our manhood ere too late,
Let us go to help the others
Save our land from evil fate.
We must join our strength together,
Fight and fight while we have breath,
And so prove to all the ages –
“Love is mightier than death.”

Kapuni. —J.M.L.

(Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXIX, 5 November 1915, Page 3)

Many more poems about the Great War have been written, both from World War One and from contemporary writers looking back on the war. A newly published Australian anthology When ANZAC Day Comes Around: The 100 Years From Gallipoli Poetry Project, compiled by Graeme Lindsay, features 200 New Zealand and Australian poets remembering war and dates back to the 1840s. The Printing Museum in New Zealand is working on several World War One poetry projects, including collections by two World War One New Zealand poets: Alfred Clark and Don H Lea.

PANZA has featured some World War One verse in previous issues of Poetry Notes (including Don H Lea) and is always on the look out for New Zealand war verse. This small tribute in verse is but one of numerous mediums being used for this year’s remembrance.

esawxmassurprise2014cov

In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) and HeadworX offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment.

Poems on football and cricket, Aztec Pyramids, the art of poetry, historical 19th century verse and an excerpt from Michael O’Leary’s recently published autobiography Die Bibel.

Contributors: Michael O’Leary, Rowan Gibbs, Harry W. Emmet, F. W. Nielsen Wright, and Mark Pirie.

Download and view the free pdf of this book (file size 766KB):
http://www.markpirie.com/books/esaw-christmas-surprise-2014

The 20th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Summer 2015, volume 5, issue 4: Niel Wright on Mark Young and Poetry as Intellectual Construct; comment on Dick Bird (1925-1984); classic New Zealand poetry by Dorothy Gard’ner (1884-1955); tribute to Les Cleveland (1921-2014); further comment on Robert J Pope by Bill Sutton and Niel Wright; new publications When Harry Met Marion by Rowan Gibbs and Poems for my Father by Mark Pirie; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been significantly updated to reflect new acquisitions in November.

Recent acquisitions include donations from Mark Young.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past year. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

The 19th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Spring 2014, volume 5, issue 3: Mark Pirie on Marieda Batten (1875-1933); classic New Zealand poetry by Noeline Gannaway; comment on Travis Wilson (1924-1983); National Poetry Day poem: Jean Batten by H S Gipps (1865?-1944); tribute to Warren Dibble (1931-2014); comment on Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page; launch report: World Cup football poetry; Polynesian Legends success; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been significantly updated to reflect new acquisitions in July and August.

Recent acquisitions include donations from Barry Southam and Diana Cloud.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past year. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

poetry%20day%20logo%202014%20web

Today is National Poetry Day. PANZA (Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa) would like to celebrate by posting a classic New Zealand poem on famous New Zealand aviator Jean Batten by H S (Henry Stansfield) Gipps (1865?-1944).

Gipps was born in Midlothian, Scotland, lived in England and came to New Zealand in the 1880s where he settled at Wakapuaka, Nelson. He was a contemporary of other New Zealand poets like the recently republished Robert J Pope (1865-1949).

In 1907 Gipps published his only collection called Outward Bound. He was a sailor with a love of the ocean. As such, a number of his poems concern sailing and journeys by ship. Mark Pirie included his sailing poem, ‘After’, in his special broadsheet feature last year on the Christchurch Star poets of the 1920s.

Gipps contributed to the paper from Nelson, and also contributed to the Nelson Evening Mail and the Evening Post’s “Postscripts” column in 1941. Other poems in Gipps’ book concern family, love and life in New Zealand. His poems give us a sense of Nelson in colonial times, ‘Our New Post Office’ for instance, while poems like ‘Across the Seas’ look back longingly to England, a land he left in search of a new life in the colony.

In Nelson, Gipps was a member of the Nelson SPCA and the Nelson Poultry, Pigeon and Canary Association.

His publications after Outward Bound were in pamphlet form, and by 1936 Gipps was firmly planted in New Zealand soil when writing his poem in praise of the ‘Greta Garbo of the skies’ Jean Batten, recently the subject of Dame Fiona Kidman’s novel, The Infinite Air. Gipps issued the poem as a stand alone pamphlet (copy held by the Turnbull Library in Wellington).

Gipps’ poem concerns Batten’s world absolute record flight from England to New Zealand 5-16 October 1936 in 11 days and 45 minutes, which included a 2 and a half day stop-over in Sydney. Also a world absolute record flight from Australia to New Zealand (Sydney to Auckland in 10 and a half hours) and broke the record flight from England to Australia (5 days and 21 hours). A remarkable achievement.

Batten remains an alluring and enigmatic figure, the subject of children’s fiction, historical fiction and biography but little is known about her presence in New Zealand poetry. PANZA knows of one other poem from this period by Donald H Lea (1879?-1960), ‘New Zealand Lass with a Hielan’ Name’, included in a previous issue of our newsletter Poetry Notes, Spring 2013. Lea’s poem also concerns Batten’s 1936 flight.

Batten’s own aunt Marieda Batten (Mrs Ida Mary Cooke) (1875-1933) was a poet and Mark Pirie will profile her in the next issue of Poetry Notes.

PANZA recognises H S Gipps as a poet of interest during the Edwardian and Georgian eras. He doesn’t appear in any New Zealand poetry anthology that PANZA is aware of.

AN EPIC EMPIRE FLIGHT

Lines Dedicated to Miss Jean Batten

Joy-bells ringing, ’plane low-swinging—“See the conquering heroine comes!”
Hearts and voices join in chorus like a mighty roll of drums!
Earth’s vast spaces left behind her—desert sands and forest green;
Flying at three full “half-hundreds” over many a chequer’d scene!
At her bidding roars the engine—flashing “blades” unceasing whirl;
Throbbing horse-power turned to action by a lion-hearted girl!
Now low-flying o’er the ocean, where wild waves her passing greet;
Soaring high above the sand-storm to a clear ten thousand feet!
Borne in safety thro’ the heavens; sunny skies and starlit night;
Kindly providence to guard her, on her long and lonely flight!
All attention keenly centred on the bright-control board’s signs;
Altimeter, “speed,” and compass—all its intricate designs!
To Australia’s far-famed country has she sped on eagle wing;
Breaking every lone-flight record! Loud we now her praises sing!
Then—to crown this wondrous journey, and fulfil her well-laid plans,
See her launched upon the distance which the Tasman Ocean spans!
Ever nearer grow the mountains where the wild deer loves to roam;
Ever dearer grows the prospect of that long’d for Welcome Home!
New delights and joys await her in New Zealand’s sunny land,
As once more she joins the circle of the happy “household band!”

*                      *                      *                      *

Oh! the ringing shouts of “Welcome” which her “wonder-flight” acclaim!
Sure in aviation’s story hers is now the brightest name!
Every happiness attend her! Countless blessings mark her way!
Safely brought thro’ all Life’s changes to the Land of endless day!

H S GIPPS, Atawhai.
October 1936

jeanbatten

Jean Gardner Batten. Ref: 1/4-003023-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22700855

Bibliography

Works by H S Gipps:

Outward Bound and Other Poems, Nelson, N.Z.: Alfred G. Betts, Printer, [1907].

Soliliquay of the Telephone, [Nelson, N.Z.]: Betts Typ., [1908].

Enter the Doctor: (with variations), Atawhai [N.Z.: H.S. Gipps, ca. 1935].

An Epic Empire Flight: Lines dedicated to Miss Jean Batten, Atawhai [N.Z.: H.S. Gipps], 1936.

 

A message from PANZA co-founder Dr Michael O’Leary:

Kia ora, I am raising funds for my new CD, please look at my Pledge Me site thanks for your support, Michael O’Leary https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/2406

The 18th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2014, volume 5, issue 2: Niel Wright on George Bouzaid (1856-1933); classic New Zealand poetry by Jim Tocker (1920-2008); business poetry in New Zealand by Mark Pirie; Manchester United vs Auckland 1967 in verse; bibliography of Ellesmere Guardian verse 1921-1922; new publication: Fallen Grace by MaryJane Thomson; tribute to Hilary Baxter (1949-2013); further comment on Donald H Lea; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The 17th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Autumn 2014, volume 5, issue 1: Michael O’Leary on A. Stanley Sherratt (1891-1977); report on the Hawke’s Bay Poetry conference by Bill Sutton; comment on John Gallas by Mark Pirie; classic New Zealand poetry from New Zealand Farmer 1937-65; Joan of Arc sonnet found; Colin Meads rugby poem found; comment on Harvey McQueen; new publications by PANZA member and launch report; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

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