Gallipoli Heights, Antarctica

The First World War through place names. Gallipoli Heights, Antarctica.

An Anzac trench at Gallipoli with a Maori carving

An ANZAC trench at Gallipoli with a Maori carving.

The northern party of the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition gave this hill its name in 1963. Gallipoli Heights stand in the Freyberg Mountains, with several of the features in this area being named after the campaigns fought by New Zealand’s most famous military leader.

As a junior officer during the initial landings of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, Bernard Freyberg swam ashore at Bulair and lit a number of flares in an effort to distract the Ottoman forces from the real landing site. For this feat of bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Freyberg remained in the Dardanelles for the rest of the ill-fated venture, sustaining a number of serious wounds in the process, and was finally evacuated with the rest of his division in January 1916.

After transferring to the British Army, Freyberg saw extensive service on the Western Front. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for extreme bravery during the Battle of the Somme and was then promoted to Brigadier-General in April 1917.

However, it was during the Second World War that Freyberg’s fame reached its zenith. He commanded the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force for most of the conflict and particularly distinguished himself during the Desert War and the Italy Campaign.

The New Zealand Geographic Board officially validated the name Gallipoli Heights in 2012.