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New Zealand Parliament

Painting of the battle of Chunuk Bair.

The battle of Chunuk Bair, 8 August 1915, by Major Ion George Brown.

21 April 2011
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Anzac Day and Parliament

Within Parliament a number of works commemorate New Zealand’s involvement in war. This painting of Chunuk Bair by Major Ion George Brown was gifted to the nation in 1990 by the New Zealand Defence Force.

It depicts the deadly struggle in early August 1915 between New Zealand soldiers and the Turks over the crucial vantage point on the Gallipoli peninsula. The painting is located in the first-floor main foyer of Parliament House.

In 1915 New Zealand troops landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey and suffered heavy casualties in the failed British attempt to take the straits of the Dardanelles and open up another front. Anzac Day on 25th April has its origins in the trauma of Gallipoli. It became a public holiday in 1921 and has been commemorated ever since, becoming increasingly popular in recent years.

Close by the Chunuk Bair painting is a bronze plaque commemorating Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone, an inspirational leader of the New Zealand troops who fell, along with many of his men from the Wellington Battalion, during the attack on Chunuk Bair. A roll of honour plaque lists the five MPs who died in active service in the Second World War.

Parliament House, first used in late 1918, was dedicated at that time to New Zealand’s wartime contribution. Around the walls of the debating chamber are various battle wreaths and plaques carved in wood. The twelve commemorating First World War battles were installed in 1918. The remaining eighteen plaques commemorating the South Africa (Boer War), the Second World War and later war service were added in the 1960s. Regular tours of Parliament, including on Anzac Day, are available for those who might wish to see these commemorative works.

For information on tours and educational visits to Parliament see the related link on this page.

To find out more about Parliamentarians and the First World War see the related document on this page.