The hunt to try and put names to the voices of five Kiwi Gallipoli veterans recorded in “ANZAC,” a 1969 radio documentary has had some success, with the great-niece of one of the men coming forward to identify him.
Rosemary Steane heard an excerpt of the recording on Radio New Zealand’s “Morning Report” last month and realised one of the men was her great-uncle, Joseph Gasparich.
Joe was a young Auckland school teacher when World War I broke out and signed up to serve with the Auckland Infantry Battalion. He was wounded three times in the course of the war, serving not only on Gallipoli but also the Western Front, where he was eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant, before being discharged on account of his injuries and shipped home in April 1917.
In his retirement Joe lived in Hawke’s Bay, which is where broadcaster Laurie Swindell interviewed him for the radio documentary at station 2ZC in Napier.
In it, he recalls being wounded in an attack in May 1915, which became known as “the Daisy Patch”, when New Zealand troops made several desperate charges across open ground against well-entrenched Turkish machine gun positions. He also recalls his treatment in a lice-infested makeshift hospital.
Joe Gasparich was also interviewed about his wartime experiences by author Maurice Shadbolt and he appears in Shadbolt’s book, Voice of Gallipoli (published 1988). Joe passed away in Taradale in 1985, at the age of 94.
Listen to the full recording of the 1969 “ANZAC” documentary here.
We’d be grateful if anyone able to contribute further information on this documentary and the men interviewed could please Contact us.