The Daisy Patch

Joseph Gasparich was a gumdigger and school teacher before he joined the Auckland Infantry Battalion. In May 1915 he was serving with the combined Australian and New Zealand forces at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli. General Sir Ian Hamilton decided to try and break through to the south of the Gallipoli peninsula, and New Zealand and Australian infantrymen were sent to Cape Helles by ferry. On 8 May the New Zealanders launched a series of attacks across an open field of poppies and daisies. In 1968 Joe Gasparich recorded his memories of the unsuccessful attacks in the Daisy Patch. “It was absolute murder – or suicide, whichever way you like to look at it.”

Year:1915 (Recorded 1968)

Location:Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

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The Daisy Patch

Joseph Gasparich was a gumdigger and school teacher before he joined the Auckland Infantry Battalion. In May 1915 he was serving with the combined Australian and New Zealand forces at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli. General Sir Ian Hamilton decided to try and break through to the south of the Gallipoli peninsula, and New Zealand and Australian infantrymen were sent to Cape Helles by ferry. On 8 May the New Zealanders launched a series of attacks across an open field of poppies and daisies. In 1968 Joe Gasparich recorded his memories of the unsuccessful attacks in the Daisy Patch. “It was absolute murder – or suicide, whichever way you like to look at it.”


Year: 1915 (Recorded 1968)

Length: 03:03

Credits: Interviewed & produced by: Laurie Swindell

Source: Radio New Zealand Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: 247794 ANZAC: the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli. A documentary by Laurie Swindell, 1969


People: Joseph George Gasparich

Location: Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey


Image Title: Joe Gasparich c.1914

Image Source: Courtesy of Rosemary Steane


In the action known as “The Daisy Patch” in the Second Battle of Krithia, the New Zealanders charged across open ground against Turkish troops who were dug into well-concealed trenches. They were met by heavy machine gun and rifle fire, with disastrous results. The New Zealand infantry suffered 835 casualties and by nightfall the Allies had lost 6500 men killed or wounded and advanced just 500 metres.

Joe Gasparich was hit in the leg at Krithia and evacuated to a lice-ridden, makeshift hospital on a nearby Greek island: “Nobody in authority imagined at all that the casualties would be so great. Apparently nobody thought that the Turks would offer such resistance.”(1)

He recovered and returned to Gallipoli, and was on the peninsula in December 1915 when it was announced that the Allied forces were evacuating. “For days there was hardly a joke cracked in the trenches… But it was such a shock, the idea of giving up and going away and leaving their cobbers, their dead pals, after all that had been done.”(2)

Joe went on to serve in France where he was wounded twice more before being discharged and sent home to New Zealand in April 1917.

In his retirement he lived in Hawkes Bay, where he was interviewed by local broadcaster Laurie Swindell in 1968. An interview with him also appears in Maurice Shadbolt’s Voices of Gallipoli.

Joe died in 1985 aged 94.

1. Joe Gasparich in ANZAC: the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli. NZBC 1969. Radio New Zealand collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision ID 247794

2. ibid.