Fragment of shoulder strap, 6 (Hauraki) Regiment, Auckland Battalion : Baby 700, Gallipoli

Unit New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Sari Bair Area, Baby 700
Accession Number REL24397
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Oxidised brass, Wool serge
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1914-1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Section of tunic shoulder strap with a brass numeral '6' and curved 'NZR' title attached to it.

History / Summary

This shoulder strap came from the tunic of a member of the New Zealand 6th (Hauraki) Company. It was collected by the Australian Historical Mission on 17 February 1919 at Baby 700. There, they found the graves of Australians and New Zealanders who had been killed at Baby 700 on the afternoon of 25 April 1915 on the inland slope, facing Battleship Hill.

The Auckland Battalion, of which the 6th Hauraki Company was a part, were all ashore at Ari Burnu by 12 pm on 25 April. After making their way up to Baby 700 to reinforce the Australians there, they fought against increasingly strong Turkish force. In addition to being under fire from the front of their line, ANZAC soldiers at Baby 700 also fell victim to Turkish snipers firing from the rear of their position.

Around 2pm the Turks attacked but were beaten back. However, the first ANZAC line, made up primarily of a mixture of Australians and men from the 16th Waikato Company, was stretched. There were few men left to withstand the increasing pressure from the Turks and they were ordered to retire to the second line, which was held by the 2nd South Canterbury and 6th Hauraki Companies. They were supported by three Maxim guns from the Auckland Battalion, located behind the firing line at the Nek.

By late afternoon the Australian and New Zealanders on Baby 700 were being pushed back. No fresh troops were available to reinforce them and at 4.30 the line broke. The last of the men on the inland slope of Baby 700 fell back to the guns at the Nek. They left behind their dead who were buried by the Turks during the May armistice. This shoulder strap was found with other pieces of uniform on the ground around the graves.