New Zealand is marking the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Among the estimated 147 New Zealand soldiers killed on the first day was Lieutenant Herman Baddeley. Lieutenant Baddeley was the first New Zealand lawyer to die while serving in World War I. There were to be over 50 more.
Herman Stuart Baddeley
1891 – 1915
Lieutenant Herman Baddeley was killed in action at Gallipoli during the landing on 25 April 1915. He was aged 23. His body was never found and his name is among those on the Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery in Turkey.
Herman was born in Greymouth on 13 November 1891. His parents were Fanny and Frederick Atkins Charles Baddeley and he had one older brother, Frederick. He grew up in Kimbolton and Feilding. His father was later manager of the Bank of New Zealand at Kimbolton.
He attended Wellington College and was a member of the school cadets. After leaving school he enrolled at Victoria University College to study law, securing work as a law clerk with Wanganui law firm Prior and Gillespie.
In June 1912 the Wanganui Chronicle reported that Baddeley had “severed his connection” with that firm to work for Bell, Gully and Cooper in Palmerston North. He was presented with a fountain pen by the staff and a “handsome cheque” by his old firm. While in Palmerston North he was an active member of the territorials, holding the rank of Lieutenant. He played golf and was a member of the Manawatu Golf Club.
He continued to study and on 26 March 1914 he was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Sir Robert Stout on the motion of Herbert Edgar Evans (later KC and Solicitor-General). By July 1914 he was practising law in the Waikato town of Otorohanga. He was resident partner there in the newly opened branch of the Te Awamutu firm of Cox, Luxford and Baddeley (later Cox, Luxford and McCarter before its dissolution in 1922). He was involved in the territorials as well, belonging to the Waikato Regiment.
On the outbreak of war Baddeley enlisted immediately. His medical examination report shows he was 5 foot 11 (1.8 metres) tall, weighed 11 stone 10 pounds (74.4 kg) and had brown eyes and black hair.
By early September he held the rank of Second Lieutenant and was among 2,100 men in the mobilisation camp at Auckland. Baddeley embarked from Wellington on 16 October 1914 with the main body of the 16th Waikato Regiment of the Auckland Infantry Battalion. They arrived in Suez, Egypt on 3 December 1914. He was promoted to full Lieutenant on 19 March 1915.
On 25 April 1915 Baddeley was among the New Zealanders who landed at Gallipoli. The Auckland and Canterbury Battalions were the first New Zealand troops to land, starting around 11 in the morning. Baddeley was among the estimated 147 New Zealanders who died on 25 April. His death is mentioned in at least two accounts of the fighting. A letter from Private WH Rhodes of the Auckland Battalion about the day of the invasion stated: “Our major is wounded, our captain shot through the lungs, and Lieutenant Allen (killed) and Baddeley (missing). The last named is supposed to be wounded in the bush somewhere” (in Patrick Gariepy’s Gardens of Hell: Battles of the Gallipoli Campaign, page 55).
Allen and Baddeley were killed in the fighting on the hill known as Baby 700. This remained in Turkish hands and Baddeley’s body was never recovered. Another eyewitness, Lieutenant Herbert Westmacott of the Auckland Battalion, also encountered Baddeley as they fought their way towards the top of Baby 700. They exchanged a few words (“Our last on earth together”, Westmacott later stated) and shortly afterwards Baddeley and the surviving members of his platoon, after making a “gallant stand” against a Turkish breakthrough, were all killed (David W Cameron, Shadows of Anzac: An Intimate History of Gallipoli).
The confusion of the landing and an army not used to dealing with such a large number of casualties meant it was many months before Baddeley’s death was confirmed. This must have been extremely upsetting for his family.
He was reported slightly wounded in early May, and in August he was reported to be “previously reported wounded, now after searching inquiries, reported wounded and missing”.
In January 1916 New Zealand newspapers included Lieutenant Baddeley in the list of those “previously reported missing, now reported believed dead (Result of Court of Inquiry).” By February that had changed to “now reported killed in action as result of Court of Inquiry”. The Court of Inquiry was held on 29 January 1916 at Moascar Camp in Ismailia, nine months after the landing. It came to the conclusion “Believed to be dead”.
Baddeley’s name is among the lawyers listed on the Hamilton District Law Society memorial bronze tablet in the Waikato Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Law Society. His name is among those on the Hamilton World War I Memorial and he is also remembered with 57 others on the Otorohanga First World War Memorial.
The legal profession remembers
The 10 New Zealand lawyers who died during the fighting in 1915 will be remembered at the 2015 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. Christchurch barrister Andrew McKenzie and New Zealand Law Society staff Christine Schofield and Cathy Knight are all attending the commemoration and they will lay a wreath on behalf of the New Zealand Law Society for the legal profession to remember the lawyer soldiers.
As well as Herman Baddeley the lawyers who were killed during fighting at Gallipoli were: Captain Arthur Spedding (2 May), Second Lieutenant Eric Burnard (10 May), Lance Corporal Harry Northcroft (19 May), Trooper George Jackson (5 June), Lieutenant Colonel William Malone (8 August), Major George Mayne (8 August), Lieutenant George Tayler (8 August), Corporal John Persse (8 August) and Major James Houlker (10 August).
Biographies are available on the Law Society’s Roll of Honour.