Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Daisy Field

The other day I received a comment on my Dressing The Lines blog from Patrick Long. He was replying to a previous comment from Rob Appleton, in which he (Rob) said that by taking part in this painting project, he was honouring the memory of his grand uncle Charlie Appleton.  Charlie was a serving member of the Auckland Regiment at Gallipoli, but sadly was one of many souls who never made it home. 

Here's Patrick's response to Rob (re-posted with his permission):
Hi Rob, we must be related. Charlie Appleton was also my great uncle (my mother’s maiden name is Appleton). 
I used to be a professional entertainer and 14 years ago a colleague handed me some music to which I wrote lyrics in Charlie’s honour. We recorded the song at the time, but didn't do too much with it.
About 9 months ago, just for fun and as as the 100th anniversary was coming up, I made a little clip so that I could put the song up on YouTube. I'm no Peter Jackson, that’s for sure, but with the limited resources at my disposal, I think I have come up with a clip that helps to carry the message of the song.
Strange fact: whilst I didn't know till later in the day on which I wrote the lyrics, it turns out that the words were written on the anniversary of his death on May 8th. You can believe that or not, but it is true and I thought that it was a bit freaky.
The song is called The Daisy Field. As you probably know many New Zealanders, including Charlie, were slaughtered that day in the second battle for Krithia on the infamous Daisy Patch or Daisy Field as it was known.
I hope you like the song. 


  1. cheers Roly. There were 800 New Zealand casualties that day on May 8th 1915 and 1,000 Australian casualties but it was the New Zealanders who were ordered to run across the open field of daisies straight in heavy machine gun fire. The courage of the New Zealand ANZACs that day is beyond question. I hope others here who lost a family member that day can connect with this song. Thanks again for the repost.

  2. Thanks Patrick for sharing this, it sent shivers down my spine and a tear to my eye. And thanks Roly for putting this up. Mustering The Troops - bringing families together - who could have imagined : )

  3. Hey Rob, I just found this and thought you might find it interesting. This is a 3 minute audio recorded in 1968 where a chap by the name of Joseph Gasparich formerly of the Auckland infantry battalion described the action on the Daisy Patch. Here he describes line after line of Aucklanders being "dropped" (as he puts it) to the last man by Turkish fire as they tried to cross the daisy patch. I got chills as I realized that one of the men in the scene he describes was our great uncle. The story of great uncle Charlie Appleton has haunted me for years ever since I read about it in the Appleton Family History book. By the way, I hope your painting has gone well, I have been watching the blogs since discovering this site. Great job you guys are doing. http://anzacsightsound.org/audios/the-daisy-patch

  4. Thank you Rob and Patrick. Daisy Patch song says it all. My family have all enjoyed. Visited Charlie Appleton’s grave in 2000.
    Kind Regards,
    Rio Rive (Appleton)