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Have you ever heard of Major General Sir Andrew Russell?

April 23, 2013
Canterbury Mounted Rifles at Gallipoli

Canterbury Mounted Rifles at Gallipoli

I watched the interesting documentary ‘The Forgotten General’ the other night,  and was ashamed to find that I knew nothing about a national hero. It seems that General Andrew Russell has been largely forgotten by several generations of New Zealanders, even though he commanded the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade at Gallipoli then went on to serve as commander of the New Zealand Division on the Western Front at the Battle of the Somne. As such he was the New Zealand army’ s most senior officer during two key periods in the country’s military history.  He was really a hero, and highly respected.After the war Russell was president of the Returned Services Association (1921-1924; 1926-1935), and served as an honorary colonel of the Wellington Regiment and the Wellington (East Coast) Mounted Rifles. He was made a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George in 1915, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1916 and a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1917.

The film was based on the biography “The forgotten general : New Zealand’s World War I commander, Major-General Sir Andrew Russell” by Jock Vennell, available at the library.

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What is the significance of Anzac Day?      Is it your duty to wake at dawn?

– Natalie

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