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Legendary All Black captain killed in action 100 years ago

Legendary All Black captain, Dave Gallaher, was killed in action 100 years ago today


Dave Gallaher pictured on final leave with his wife Ellen and daughter Nora
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Dave, who captained the “Original” All Backs on their triumphant tour of England and Europe in 1905-06, was well over enlistment age when he signed up to fight in the First World War.

He was 43 when his New Zealand Division captured the foothills surrounding Passchendaele on October 4, 1917. Sergeant Dave Gallaher was struck by a bullet which penetrated his helmet and he died the same afternoon. Four Anzac divisions were successful that day but, when the Kiwis tried to take the Passchendaele ridge 10 days later, they were massacred in the darkest day in New Zealand military history.

In two hours of slaughter, about 3,000 Kiwis were either killed outright, died of their wounds in the next few days or were wounded but survived.

This week a party, organised by Stephen Parsons House of Travel, will leave to commemorate the centenary of Passchendaele in Belgium. They’ll also visit Dave Gallaher’s grave at the Nine Elms British cemetery.


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