As part of the official New Zealand WW100 programme, Archives New Zealand is involved in a Twitter project called Life 100 Years Ago. The project brings to life quotes from diaries, letters, and newspapers which are shared in ‘real time’ exactly 100 years on from the actual events – reliving history from the perspective of New Zealanders who were experiencing it at the time.
From 9 April, Archives New Zealand will be adding its own unique voice to the project by sharing excerpts from the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign.
A divisional diary of the campaign was created from 9 April – 31 August 1915, with entries made from the official Unit diary of the NZ & AUS Division, as well as the reports of Major General Alexander Godley (Commander of the Division), Major General William Braithwaite (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) and Lieutenant General William Birdwood (Commander of the ANZAC Corps).
Written from the perspective of these officers, the diary complements the personal accounts of soldiers and nurses at Gallipoli, and contains artillery reports, official orders, statistics of casualties, and other campaign information
The tweets allow us to experience some of what happened 100 years ago at Gallipoli. ‘At dawn… the roar of guns at the entrance to the Dardanelles was deafening’ recalled the first entry for 25 April. By the end of the day, the diary noted major casualties, including ‘Lt Col Plugge, commanding Auckland Battalion,’ who was ‘wounded by a bullet which lodged in his wrist… Fighting had been continuous… our troops, considerably outnumbered, had difficulty holding on.’
Follow the tweets at www.twitter.com/ANZACDiary, or check out the diary itself, which has been digitised and is available at http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE24596025