[Interview with Gallipoli veteran, Sergeant Cobb].

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An unidentified interviewer introduces Mr. Cobb, [probably Walter Cobb], who was a sergeant with the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment machine gun section, on Gallipoli.
[The interview was probably recorded at a 1959 reunion of WWI veterans.]

He landed at Gallipoli in May and says he was one of the last twelve men evacuated in December. He recalls the great blizzard of November, when his coat froze up to the backside and he was unable to crawl into his bivvy.

New Zealand forces had more outdoor experience than the British 'Tommies', so their trenches were better dug. He describes how they were dug with small entrenching tools.

He describes rations: bully beef, biscuits, cheese and bacon. The Frey Bentos bully beef from South America was very salty, almost inedible.

There were two burial armistices; the first was a "dummy" and their officers told them not to go out. For the second one, white flags went up; the distance between the two front lines was only a street width, and was completely filled with dead from both sides.

There was little fraternising except sharing cigarettes. The armistice only lasted a few hours, prior to that there had been a continuous rattle of artillery. It resumed once the flags went down again. We had little ammunition but the Turks had plenty and fired a lot more than the British who were always conserving ammunition.

He describes the evacuation from Gallipoli, [reads briefly from his diary which he kept on Gallipoli]. Various 'Heath Robinson- style' contraptions were set up to keep their rifles firing so the Turks didn't know the evacuation was going on.

He describes visiting Hill 60 when there was a huge explosion and he was buried in earth and had to be dug out. Two 'Tommies' he was with were killed as a mine had blown up. He heard later there were fifty-three casualties in that incident.

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Year 1959

Reference number 27624

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Ngā Taonga Korero Collection

Genre Radio interviews
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Cobb, Walter Leonard, 1886-1974, Interviewee
New Zealand Broadcasting Service (estab. 1946, closed 1962), Broadcaster

Duration 00:10:17

Date 1959

Subject Cobb, Walter -- Interviews
New Zealand. Army. Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment
World War, 1914-1918 -- Veterans -- New Zealand
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns -- Turkey -- Gallipoli Peninsula
World War, 1914-1918 -- Trench warfare
World War, 1914-1918 -- Food supply