Apr 8, 2022

Voices of Gallipoli: Hartley Palmer

A young farmer leaves his parents and eight sisters to storm the beach at ANZAC cove on 25th April, 1915. 70 years later, he tells his story to Maurice Shadbolt.

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From Voices of Gallipoli: Maurice Shadbolt

Hartley Palmer, a little lively man in his late eighties, talked in his home in the Nelson suburb of Richmond in 1983. He had gone to Gallipoli with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion. Unlike many veterans met, he was not at all introspective or philosophical about the Gallipoli experience. What happened there was what happened, and for a fact. Though he didn’t boast, it seemed appoarent that he was as competent a killer as any man on Gallipoli. Some of his stories might have been polished in the telling; others were distinctly still raw. He managed to remain jaunty as he recounted the disaster of the Daisy Patch, and an act which would have been construed, had it been witnessed, as martial cowardice. But twice, as he told of the death of friends, his face crumpled, and tears dripped.

Maurice Shadbolt

[Voices of Gallipolli] is largely a collection of [verbatim] narratives which tell how humble and mostly simple New Zealanders lived and died on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninusla for eight months in the year of 1915.

I’m giving voice to Hartley’s testimony to honour and remember his experience and those of his fellow ANZACs.