Bay Chronicle : April 23rd 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015 YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Herbert Harris, above, was a cavalryman and machine gunner in Gallipoli during World War I. Inset: His wife Margaret. Russell Harris is going to the Anzac Day memorial service in Gallipoli to honour his dad. By SARAH HARRIS ANZAC Day is an emotional time for Far North man Russell Harris. His father fought in the trenches of Gallipoli for six months, being wounded by shrapnel and traumatised by what he saw. Harris, 74, from Opua says his dad Herbert was 26 when he went to war as a cavalryman in 1915. Herbert trained in Egypt, before being sent to Gallipoli. ‘‘He saw a lot of his mates killed around him and he always talked about the bad food and the bad leadership. He loved the Aussies, he always had a very strong feeling towards them as being tough.’’ There was an armistice on May 24 to allow both sides to bury their dead. ‘‘They stopped fighting because they couldn’t see over the dead bodies. ‘‘So they stopped and they buried their dead and swapped cigarettes, talked to the Turkish soldiers. Then ANZACDAYSERVICES Hokianga RSA – South Hokianga Memorial Hall, State Highway 12, Opononi 11am-11.30am. The main Hokianga service will be at the Memorial Arch of Remembrance in Kohukohu Houhora 11am-noon community service at the cemetery Kaikohe RSA – 158 Broadway, Kaikohe 6am7am, dawn parade at the Kaikohe RSA, march to memorial hall Kaitaia RSA - 18 Matthews Ave, Kaitaia, 5.45am6.30am, dawn service at the Kaitaia RSA 11amnoon community service at the Te Ahu centre Kawakawa RSA – 29 Albert St, Kawakawa 9.45am Fall in at the Kawakawa Museum 10.15am-11am service at the cenotaph in Johnson Park; 11.15 day service outside the Kawakawa RSA Kerikeri RSA – 37 Cobham Rd, Kerikeri 5.45am6.30am dawn service at the Kerikeri RSA; 9.45am-10.30am morning service at the Kerikeri RSA they went back into the trenches and started killing each other.’’ Their canned beef and biscuits always got weevilled, Harris says. ‘‘Their diet was horren- dous. ‘‘Dysentery was endemic. There was no dignity, no Kerikeri’s Latest Showhome Come and see what we can build for you Far North Office: (09) 407 3441 0800 42 45 46 www.gjgardner.co.nz GJ-SH-76-FN0215-2MCL Mangonui 11am-noon community service at the memorial hall Okaihau 11am day parade at the Okaihau Bowling Club Russell RSA 1 Chapel St, Russell 6am-7am dawn service at the cenotaph on the waterfront followed by breakfast at the RSA; 9.30am day service at the Long Beach Rd cemetery; 10.30am civic parade starting at the RSA; 11am11.30am civic service at the cenotaph on the waterfront; 1pm lunch at the RSA Te Kao 11am-noon community service at the Potahi Marae Waimamaku 6am-6.30am dawn parade at the cemetery on Beach Rd Whangaroa RSA – main street of Kaeo, SH1, 9.45am meet outside the RSA to march to the town hall for a day service, followed by lunch Whirinaki 6am-6.30am dawn parade at the cenotaph monument honour or glory in it.’’ Herbert then went on to fight through five years of war, in campaigns across the Sinai Desert. Harris got two tickets from the Anzac ballot and has left for the centenary commemoration in Gallipoli with his 20-year-old son Riley. They have flown to Istanbul and will bus to Anzac Cove where they will spend the night on April 24. In the morning they will attend the dawn service at a New Zealand monument then walk slowly over the battlefield, before climbing up the cliffs to the Chunuk SHOWHOME Corner of Ranui Ave and Martha Clarke Lane, Ranui Gardens OPEN Monday–Friday 11.00am–5.00pm Saturday 9.00am–12.00pm Come and visit the team at our showhome today. To find out more about this great showhome phone Katie Aukett (021) 373 773 or Dave Smith (021) 272 2982 Bair battleground. ‘‘They say you can step off the path, kick the soil, and find a bullet.’’ Harris says he is anti-war – the day is about remembering his father and celebrating New Zealand’s character, not glorifying battle. ‘‘I think it’s going to be dif- ficult, emotionally. As a child you live through that whole experience, you heard every word of that story, that awful battle and destruction of human life. You grow up with that memory and you can’t go to an Anzac Day dawn service without being emotionally affected by it, because it’s your father speaking to you. ‘‘Something I regret since he has gone, is that I didn’t record every word he said. ‘‘Philosophically it’ll help reinforce that I am a New Zealander and my father was involved in the anvil of Gallipoli that forged the character of New Zealand. I want to keep that independent, do it yourself, resourceful, egalitarian, Kiwi atti- tude alive.’’ Harris would like to meet a Turkish family with a direct descendant. ‘‘I have a strong feeling I’ll find some empathy with the Turkish. I just want to share that 100 years with them, that memorial to the people that have gone before.’’ Herbert came home from the war in 1919 and married his first wife. They had eight children before she died of cancer. It was in 1937 when he was invited to the coronation of King George the sixth in England that he met his second wife, and Harris’s mum, Margaret. ‘‘She came over here to a very isolated farm. She was a city girl, but she rolled up her sleeves and took on the eight children then had five of us. She was a heroine.’’ Harris says Herbert was focused on working hard. ‘‘He was very stern, very dominant on the family. ‘‘He ruled very strictly and he had a very good intellect.’’ ❚ More Anzac stories P3 & 4 G.J. Gardner Homes are acknowledged for their innovative design concepts. Our designers are continually coming up with fresh ideas and creative living plans. Here’s your chance to view our latest ideas incorporated into our stunning new designer showhome. 3 2 2 2 Floor Area 215m2 Design innovation is just one more reason why more people choose to build with G.J. Gardner Homes every year than any other builder.
April 16th 2015