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Wounded at Chunuk Bair

The battle for Chunuk Bair was one of the bloodiest of the Gallipoli campaign for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Robert (“Bob”) Alexander Needs of the Otago Infantry Battalion, describes his experiences of the battle up Rhododendron Ridge, and the chaotic aftermath for the wounded.

Year:1915

Location:Gallipoli, Turkey

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Wounded at Chunuk Bair

The battle for Chunuk Bair was one of the bloodiest of the Gallipoli campaign for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Robert (“Bob”) Alexander Needs of the Otago Infantry Battalion, describes his experiences of the battle up Rhododendron Ridge, and the chaotic aftermath for the wounded.


Year: 1915

Length: 04:07

Source: Radio New Zealand Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: 24526 Interview with Gallipoli veteran, Bob Needs


People: Bob Needs

Location: Gallipoli, Turkey

Tags: Chunuk Bair, Offensives, Casualties, Gallipoli

Subject: World War, 1914-1918, Campaigns – Turkey – Gallipoli Peninsula


Image Title: G01810B

Image Source: Austraian War Memorial, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/G01810B/


While the battle of Chunuk Bair raged from 7th August onwards, the dead and wounded piled up in the trenches and open spaces. As shells, shrapnel and sniper fire flew overhead, it was nearly impossible for stretcher-bearers and medics to reach the wounded, who often lay in exposed places. Bob Needs lay where he was hit for three days and three nights: a common plight during the battle. Those who were fortunate enough to be brought off the top found the medical posts woefully undersupplied. The route down to the beach – and the salvation of the hospital ships – meant running a gauntlet of enemy fire. Bob was finally evacuated on 11th August; many hundreds of New Zealand soldiers were not so fortunate.

Bob Needs of Oamaru served with the 10th (North Otago) Regiment of the Otago Infantry Battalion. He was wounded in the thigh at Chunuk Bair on August 8th and evacuated to the hospital ship Neuralia.  He was transferred to a hospital in London where he recovered, and later went on to serve on the Western Front where he was awarded a Military Medal for gallantry, but also wounded again and hospitalised with shell shock.  He was discharged on account of his injuries in April 1918 and returned to New Zealand.