From Paul Moon’s piece in this week’s Herald, ‘Cold brutality of campaign that changed a nation’:
For the New Zealand public - which had been kept immune from some of the early episodes of fighting by a heavily censored media - Gallipoli was the abrupt moment of realisation of the extent of annihilation the war was capable of inflicting.
“Ironically, it was the fact that Gallipoli was a defeat that made it such a potent focus of attention for later generations of New Zealanders.
“The sort of elation that erupts over victories is usually a short-lived thing - a moment in which bursts of jubilation and relief flare, only to grow quickly dim, and then become extinguished altogether.
“Brooding over defeats, on the other hand - particularly those that are so traumatic for the populations of the suffering countries - not only seems to ingrain the event deeper in the recesses of people's minds, but can sometimes take on a life of its own, making ‘men to live eternally, or, being dead, raise them to life again,’ in the words of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.”