11 Apr 2014

Gallipoli veteran on radio identified

2:48 pm on 11 April 2014

The search to find the names of five Gallipoli veterans who took part in a 1969 radio documentary has had some success.

The great-niece of one of the men heard excerpts of his voice on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme in March and came forward.

Anzac poppy.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Rosemary Steane heard the programme and realised one of the five men featured was her Great-Uncle Joseph Gasparich, a young teacher in Auckland when World War I broke out.

He signed up with the Auckland Infantry Battalion and served not only at Gallipoli, but also on the Western Front, where he was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Mr Gasparich, known as Joe, was wounded three times before being discharged on account of his injuries and sent home in April 1917.

In his retirement he lived in Hawke's Bay and died in 1985 aged 94.

Mr Gasparich and four other Gallipoli veterans were interviewed for a radio documentary called ANZAC, which was recorded in Napier in 1969 by broadcaster Laurie Swindell.

No mention was made in the programme of who the men were and archivists are still keen to find out the names of the other four men.

  • The programme can be heard on the Sound Archives and the New Zealand Film Archive websites.