Chunuk Bair and cemetery


The origin of the word Chunuk is not known. Chunuk Bair hill is one of the major points on the range and it was a battle area between the Turkish defenders and troops of New Zealand and Britain on Gallipoli peninsula. A battalion of New Zealanders are ordered by their British Generals to take Chunuk Bair. It was one of the targets that planned to capture on attack in 8th of August 1915. The infantry had arrived Chunuk Bair at 2 am. They rested little bit on the foot of the hill and in the early morning they went up the hill. Hill was abandoned and Turks had only moved to other high points to fire on this summit. Turks were on their left and right and Turks’ shuts started getting them. The attack on Chunuk Bair was one of the New Zealand’s key events on Gallipoli. New Zealander soldiers fought hard to get the summit. Their attempt was met with the defense led by The Turkish Commander Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. They could hold the summit for two days but on 10th of August the battalions were swept away. This was not quite end of the offensive for New Zealanders. Chunuk Bair was a proud moment for the young New Zealand Nation and because of this pilgrims still go there. At last ceremony there were more than 2500 New Zealanders in attendance.

After the armistice in 1918 the Chunuk Bair cemetery was made on the slope below the Chunuk Bair memorial. Memorial was erected in honor of the Australian and New Zealander soldiers who lost their lives on the Gallipoli peninsula and whose graves are not known and it bears more than 850 soldiers’ names. Chunuk Bair cemetery has 856 burials and just 10 of them are identified.