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One uniform and a guitar: NZDF could miss Gallipoli dawn service for first time

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 7:54am

One uniform and a guitar: NZDF could miss Gallipoli dawn service for first time

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 7:54am

The New Zealand Defence Force will play a reduced role in the Gallipoli dawn service after their bags containing instruments and uniforms were lost in transit.

The baggage, lost amid the chaos of the Dubai floods last week, contains service dress uniforms and band instruments which are essential for participation in the event in Turkey.

Dubai International Airport underwater after heavy rains produced flooding in UAE and deaths in Oman. Photo / via XDubai International Airport underwater after heavy rains produced flooding in UAE and deaths in Oman. Photo / via X 

Some bags have since arrived, thanks to efforts from New Zealand Embassy staff in Ankara, but they have only included a single uniform and a lone instrument, meaning the band is currently reduced to a solo singer and a guitar.

New Zealand Defence Force lead John McLeod said it is “naturally disappointing” but the contingent may be able to provide some services.

He said the contingent would evaluate what had and hadn’t arrived on Wednesday morning before deciding how it might take part in the Dawn Service and how the New Zealand Chunuk Bair service would be delivered.

The Chunuk Bair ceremony will still be taking place, just scaled down, thanks to generous offers by our counterparts across the ditch.
The Chunuk Bair ceremony will still be taking place, just scaled down, thanks to generous offers by our counterparts across the ditch. 

The band are reportedly using spoons as drums as they try to hurriedly replace the instruments and Australia is offering their bugler for the Chunuk Bair service, if necessary.

“It is disappointing for everyone but we are determined to ensure our Chunuk Bair service honours those who fought here at Gallipoli,” McLeod said.

The Chunuk Bair service happens later in the morning and is completely New Zealand-led.

“Our outstanding vocalist, Lance Corporal Bryony Williams, will sing anthems without accompaniment and we have a guitar to support our Māori cultural group in singing waiata,” McLeod said.

McLeod said locally sourced instruments have been looked at, but this is difficult given local bands’ participation in other services.

“The bulk of the 40-strong contingent arrived in [Turkey] last week with just their carry-on luggage and have been able to buy clothing and other necessaries,” McLeod said.

“It had still been an emotional and reflective experience for the contingent, with many having personal and family connections to this special place.”

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here. 

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