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PM: Tributes to Lieutenant Colonel William Malone

8 August 2005

Tributes to Lieutenant Colonel William Malone on 90th anniversary of his death at Chunuk Bair

The Prime Minister speaks at the unveiling of the plaque honouring Colonel Malone.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says that two events in Wellington today honour the contribution and achievements of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone.

At a ceremony in Parliament this afternoon, Helen Clark will unveil a plaque to commemorate the life of William Malone, the Commanding Officer of the Wellington Infantry Battalion at Gallipoli who died at Chunuk Bair ninety years ago today.

The plaque honouring Colonel Malone

The plaque was unveiled in Parliament's Grand Hall and will be installed in the Beehive once refurbishments are complete.

"For many years, many New Zealanders have felt that William Malone's great bravery in leading his men at Chunuk Bair was not appropriately recognised," Helen Clark said.

"The mounting of this plaque at Parliament in his honour ensures that there is a permanent and proper memorial to Lieutenant Colonel Malone. I acknowledge the work of Hon Jim Anderton to secure proper public recognition for William Malone, which has led to this ceremony today.

"William Malone led the Wellington Infantry Battalion when it seized Chunuk Bair and held it all day against ferocious attacks from Turkish troops. They were exposed to fire and attack on three sides. When other New Zealand units relieved them at the end of that day, some 70 of his battalion’s men remained. Malone lay among the dead, and although he has no known grave, his name is recorded with more than 300 of his men on the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing on Chunuk Bair. Chunuk Bair remains today a very sombre place for New Zealanders.

"William Malone is one of the best-known of the many thousands of New Zealanders who fought at Gallipoli. In part this reflects his forceful character and his outstanding service in the campaign; but it is also due to the survival of his detailed diary and a substantial collection of private letters," Helen Clark said.

Later today Helen Clark will launch an edition of Malone's Great War diaries and letters, at the National Library.

"This book is an important addition to the New Zealand and international literature on the Gallipoli campaign. It will help New Zealanders learn more about a great New Zealander and gain a better understanding of some of the experiences which have shaped our nation.

I congratulate the New Zealand Defence Force, and its historian, John Crawford, and all others involved in this project to make Lieutenant Colonel Malone's diaries and letters available to a wider readership," Helen Clark said.


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