(Photo: courtesy of Massey University)

Gallipoli: Historian's quest for a Newfoundland soldier continues

Posted on centenarynews.com on 19 April 2015
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New Zealand historian, Damien Fenton, has been asking for the public’s help in identifying a Newfoundland soldier from a photograph he obtained while on a visit to Gallipoli.

The photograph shows a Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldier (right) sitting beside a soldier from the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment (left) – distinguishable by their slouch hats and leather boots.

The 900-strong Newfoundland regiment was the only regiment from North America to fight in the Gallipoli campaign alongside the Anzac and other soldiers, and Fenton believes that is how these men formed their bond of friendship.

He has a theory about how this photograph came to be: “I suspect these two men are both Gallipoli veterans who have become friends while recovering from either wounds or illness in a military hospital in England.”

Evidence for this can be seen on the reverse of the photo, where it states that it was produced by Emberson and Sons, a photography business based in London.

After the retreat from Gallipoli, all remaining soldiers of the Wellington Mounted Rifles were transferred to Egypt, France or were invalided home. They were never stationed in Britain during the war, which makes military hospital in England a viable option.

Damien Fenton on his recent trip to Gallipoli. Courtesy of Massey University.

Dr Fenton's quest to identify the Newfoundland soldier speaks to a bond between the two countries formed by their shared experience and sacrifice in Gallipoli one hundred years ago.

Every year, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment observes Anzac Day with a ceremony at the War Memorial at St. John’s (the modern day capital of the province).

The photo has been featured in a number of newspaper articles across Newfoundland but as of yet, no definitive answer as to the soldier’s identity has been found.

Dr Fenton, who is a research fellow for the First World War Centenary History Series at Massey University in New Zealand, was visiting the Gallipoli peninsula ahead of Anzac Day celebrations as an historical adviser for a TV series.

For more information on how to contact Dr Damien Fenton, please visit the Massey University website.

Source: Massey University, New Zealand, The Telegram, Newfoundland

Image: Massey University, New Zealand

Posted by: Éadaoin Hegarty, Centenary News