• David Gallaher

  • Auckland Infantry Battalion
  • 1st Brigade

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  • Knight/Lady of the Thistle (KT/LT)
  • Enlisted

    60 Moonshine Road, Trentham, Upper Hutt 5018, New Zealand
    Wednesday, 26 July 1916

  • Embarked from Wellington for service overseas.

    4 Willis Street, Wellington, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
    Friday, 16 February 1917

  • Disembarked at Devonport, England.

    Ferry Road, Plymouth, Plymouth PL1, UK
    Wednesday, 2 May 1917

  • Wounded in action at Gravenstafel Spur, Flanders.

    Thursday, 4 October 1917

  • Died of wounds at 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Gravenstafel Spur, Flanders.

    Thursday, 4 October 1917

Stories and comments
    • Sportsman and soldier
    • Posted by NAAadmin, Monday, 28 July 2014

    David Gallaher was born in Ireland in 1873 and emigrated with his family to Katikati, New Zealand, in 1878. They moved to Auckland in 1889 and from boyhood, Gallaher was recognised as a talented rugby player. He first represented New Zealand in 1903 and was captain of the famous ‘Original All Blacks’ team which toured Britain, France and North America in 1905–06. He had served in the Boer War and on the outbreak of World War I was eager to volunteer again, but refrained at first on account of his wife and daughter. When his brother Douglas was killed in France in June 1916 he felt it was his turn to go and enlisted in July 1916. He left New Zealand with the 22nd Reinforcements in February 1917. Sergeant Gallaher was wounded at Passchendaele on 4 October 1917 during the successful, but costly, attack on Gravenstafel Spur. He died a few hours later and was buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Poperinge. Officially aged 41, Gallaher was actually almost 44. He had first lowered his age when volunteering for the Boer War in 1901.

    • David/ Dave Gallaher from County Donegal, Ireland
    • Posted by Dcountymuseum, Thursday, 7 July 2016

    Dave Gallaher He was born on 30th Oct 1873 at Ramelton, Co Donegal, Ireland. He was christened in the First Ramelton Meeting House Tullaughnish Parish, Ramelton, Co Donegal. In 1888, the Gallagher family sailed from Belfast on the Lady Jocelyn as part of the second party of emigrants for George Vesey Stewart's Special Settlement at Katikai, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. From boyhood he was recognised as a capable athlete and his great ability in Rugby football. In January 1901, Gallaher enlisted NZ Mounted Rifles in the Boer War. He altered his birth date to 1876. He served for 1½ years he served in the Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony (Cape Province) and reached the rank of Squadron Sergeant Major and received the Imperial South African War medal. While in South Africa, he captained the New Zealand military team that played 10 games and won the rugby championship in the army matches played among the English and Colonial forces during the campaign. With regard to the alternate spellings of his surname, it is presumed that at some point between returning from the Anglo-Boer War (his name appears as "Gallagher" in the Anglo-Boer War nominal rolls) and his starring role in the 1905 All Blacks, he dropped the second 'g' so that people would pronounce his surname correctly. Became the First Captain of the first New Zealand national rugby union team which came to be known as the ‘All Blacks’, which had a victorious tour of the British Isles in 1905. Gallaher married Ellen Ivy May Francis, sister of fellow All Black A.H. Francis, in Auckland, 10 October 1906. They had one daughter, Nora Tahuta, born in 1908. During WWI, although exempt from Conscription due to his age, he enlisted as a Corporal with the New Zealand Expeditory Force in 1916 and again altered his date of birth to 31 October 1876. By October 1916, he was a Sergeant and by 20th January 1917, he was the Company Sergeant Major. On 16th February 1917 he sailed aboard the Ship Aparima to Devonport, Plymouth, England. On 1 June 1917 he had a confirmed rank of Sergeant and six days later left for Etaples in France for further training. On June 26 1917, the unit went in action in the Third Battle for Ypres, fighting around La Basse Ville. Conditions were deplorable. After returning to rest camp late in August, the battalions began intensive training for Passchendaele. On October 1 the three Auckland battalions marched through the ruins of Ypres. 1st and 2nd Brigades of the New Zealand Division were to attack the Gravenstafel-Abraham Heights, clearing the way for the final assault by 3rd Brigade on Belle Vue Spur. The 2nd Aucklands were part of 3rd Brigade and on the night of October 3rd they moved up to battle stations - which were not trenches, just a series of shell holes. At 0545 hour on October 4th, the barrage began. At 1600 hour Gallaher took his men over the top. Later that day, Dave Gallagher was shot in the face, and was taken to a tunnel housing the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing station.

    Grave of Dave Gallaher