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Row over Irish soldiers labelled Australian in Gallipoli film

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  • Row over Irish soldiers labelled Australian in Gallipoli film

    Row over Irish soldiers labelled Australian in Gallipoli film

    Historian accused of deliberately misidentifying soldiers to suit Australian interests, writes PÁDRAIG COLLINS in Sydney

    TOMORROW IS the 95th anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey – one of the bloodiest battles in the first World War.

    A row has erupted over film footage of Irish and New Zealand soldiers there having been deliberately misidentified as Australians, however.

    Gallipoli was the first major battle for the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac), and is a national day of remembrance in both countries each year.

    Irish soldiers were heavily involved in the campaign from the first day, in both the British and Anzac ranks. Last month, President McAleese laid wreaths in Turkey and paid tribute to the more than 4,000 Irish soldiers who died at Gallipoli.

    “The cost to the Turks was dreadful. The cost to the Allies was dreadful. The cost to the Irish became a story lost, suppressed and neglected for many decades in between,” said McAleese.

    An Australian submarine which breached the Turkish defences on April 25th, 1915, was commanded by Dubliner Henry Dacre Stoker, cousin of Dracula author Bram Stoker. But New Zealand military historian Chris Pugsley has accused an Australian War Memorial historian of knowingly labelling soldiers from the 5th Irish Fusiliers fighting at Suvla Bay as Australian.

    Pugsley, a lecturer at Britain’s Sandhurst Military Academy, identified the Irish soldiers by comparing a still photograph with the film footage.

    He describes the 21-second scene as “perhaps the most iconic trench-fighting sequence that exists, where you see these guys in pith helmets furiously firing away”.

    The footage was originally shot by Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, a British war correspondent, and edited by Australian War Memorial historian Charles Bean in 1919. A five-second scene involving New Zealand soldiers has also been misidentified until now as being Australian.

    Dr Pugsley identified the New Zealanders by their distinctive hats – known as “lemon squeezers” – and a diary entry from commanding officer Lt Col William Malone, which confirmed Ashmead-Bartlett had filmed them. “He seemed a bit swollen-headed, and full of his own importance,” wrote Lt Col Malone. “I gave him a couple of thrills by taking him to a place open to Turkish fire at about 300 yards’ range.”

    Pugsley says the misidentification of the Irish and New Zealand soldiers by Bean in 1919 was deliberate.

    “Gallipoli had become the iconic centrepiece of the Australian achievements in the first World War, and so he looked at all these images and assessed how he could tell the Australian story with them,” he said.

    “It wasn’t a mistake, it was deliberate. He wanted to tell the Australian story, and he wanted to tell it in popular terms, and so he used the best images that he had.”

    The Australian War Memorial’s head of military history, Ashley Ekins, has defended Bean’s work and said he was not trying to mislead in how he edited the footage. “He was trying to give a narrative to an Australian audience and to keep it simple, because people had to read these titles in a silent movie cinema,” said Ekins.


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...269035376.html
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

  • #2
    That's hardly a unique thing to do. I've just watched a documentary on Dunkirk that had chaps running about in 1944 pattern helmets carrying Sten guns.
    sigpic
    Say NO to violence against Women

    Originally posted by hedgehog
    My favourite moment was when the
    Originally posted by hedgehog
    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

    Comment


    • #3
      Not to mention the amount of footage from the battle of the somme that shows tanks.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
        Not to mention the amount of footage from the battle of the somme that shows tanks.
        Well they were used at Flers in Sept 1916.

        But a lot of WW1 footage was re-enacted or taken from post war movies.
        Last edited by Groundhog; 24 April 2010, 23:11.
        sigpic
        Say NO to violence against Women

        Originally posted by hedgehog
        My favourite moment was when the
        Originally posted by hedgehog
        red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

        Comment


        • #5
          That last point is quite right. For example,there's only a few feet, comparatively speaking, of WW1 air combat filmed in the air. Most of what makes it into the documentaries is post-war stuff, most of which is Hollywood.The Discovery Channel are hoors for continuity mix-ups like that, with endless amounts of "wrong tank, wrong time" stuff.
          regards
          GttC

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          • #6
            Dr. Pugsley has a slight advantage over the majority great unwashed, (Joe Public) he has reaserched the subject for a considerable period of time with regards the men, uniforms, badges, weapons & equipment etc..etc.. too most, including some who would consider themselves to be familiar with military history, a 21 second view of a bunch of men in a trench firing rifles would have little meaning as to exactly what particular part of the British / Collonial / French / German and Associated States etc.. etc.. those particular soldiers came from.

            It would only be with close examination that the avarage soldier, seen at a distance in his Kahki uniform of the day could be positively identified as being "so and so", apart from blokes in kilts being identified as Scots, or the Aussies identified by the slouch hats, etc.. etc..

            And its already been commented on just how much stock film footage has been erroneously identified and used down through the years.

            Connaught Stranger.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not to mention all these Irishmen who won VC's and some Brits today try to present that they were not really Irish but "Indian-born" etc. etc.

              Connaught,
              When visiting Gallipoli I find that Cannakale is a much more pleasant place to stay-it is just a few minutes on the ferry. I also find that the guided tour gives just a small picture of the casualties as they tend just to visit the main cemetaries- when you walk the battlefields you get a better picture. The guided tour can also be slanted to the ANZAC market. (I never want to hear about John Simpson-the man with the donkey again).






              Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
              Dr. Pugsley has a slight advantage over the majority great unwashed, (Joe Public) he has reaserched the subject for a considerable period of time with regards the men, uniforms, badges, weapons & equipment etc..etc.. too most, including some who would consider themselves to be familiar with military history, a 21 second view of a bunch of men in a trench firing rifles would have little meaning as to exactly what particular part of the British / Collonial / French / German and Associated States etc.. etc.. those particular soldiers came from.

              It would only be with close examination that the avarage soldier, seen at a distance in his Kahki uniform of the day could be positively identified as being "so and so", apart from blokes in kilts being identified as Scots, or the Aussies identified by the slouch hats, etc.. etc..

              And its already been commented on just how much stock film footage has been erroneously identified and used down through the years.

              Connaught Stranger.
              Last edited by timhorgan; 25 April 2010, 11:26.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by timhorgan View Post
                Not to mention all these Irishmen who won VC's and some Brits today try to present that they were not really Irish but "Indian-born" etc. etc.

                Connaught,
                When visiting Gallipoli I find that Cannakale is a much more pleasant place to stay-it is just a few minutes on the ferry. I also find that the guided tour gives just a small picture of the casualties as they tend just to visit the main cemetaries- when you walk the battlefields you get a better picture. The guided tour can also be slanted to the ANZAC market. (I never want to hear about John Simpson-the man with the donkey again).
                Feel free to insert two digets into your ears then!

                Comment

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