7/218 Trooper Daniel Jenkins NZEF
NZEF MiD Trio and Plaque - KiA Gallipoli
The exceptional 1914/15 Star Trio and Memorial Plaque issued in commemoration of 7/218 Trooper Daniel Jenkins, who participated in a daring reconnaisance behind Turkish lines on Gallipoli over a two day period, for which he was mentioned in despatches. He was later mortally wounded.
Daniel Jenkins is something of an unknown character, in that his early life in Wales, prior to coming to New Zealand is largely unknown. CWGC list his parents as John and Margaret Jenkins of Abercrave, Radnorshire, Wales however on his service file his next of kin are given as step-sister and step-brother respectively indicating uncertainty with his parentage.
On his enlistment in August 1914, Jenkins was working as a gold miner on the Golden Bar reef on the Wakamarino River at Canvastown, Marlborough, where he was known as "Danny Jenkins". He noted previous service with the South African Constabulary on his attestation, which has not been verified although there is no trace of a "D Jenkins" on the medal roll for the Boer War, so he may have served after the war.
Jenkins embarked with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles in October 1914, and landed on Gallipoli with the NZMR in May 1915. By late June it became apparent that Turkish artillery north of Anzac at Anafarta, possible a single 77mm gun, was causing signficant causalties to the forces at Anzac Cove. The CMR War Dairy for this period noted this gun had caused "750 casualties here (Anzac Cove) in the past two months", and that our artillery had been unable to put it out of action. On 20th June a reconnaisance team consisting of Lt. G.R. Blackett, Jenkins and an interpreter, were sent behind enemy lines to locate this gun. The recommendation for the awards these men received states: "20 June. Reconnaissance N. of Suvla Bay. Volunteered to accompany Lieut. G.R. Blackett (awarded the M.C. for this action) - were conveyed on night of 20 June 1915, by sea, to a point on the coast considerably north of ANZAC Cove. From ther they proceeded some miles inland and remained out for 48 hours being picked up by boat in the evening 22 June - having acquired information regarding the position of the enemy's guns, their dispositions, and also information regarding water supplies that are of the utmost value.". While crossing the plain between the coast and the hills around Anafarta, they found a substantial natural water supply. They also located the battery and reported that, though Turkish patrols were active, the enemy did not appear to be in any strength to the north of Anafarta Spur. The three men later returned by the same trawler that had delivered them.
Jenkins was mentioned in despatches for this feat of daring (L.G. 5/11/1915), his subsequent death probably limiting the level of award given. On 17th July, whilst in the firing line at Russell's Top, Jenkins suffered a bullet wound to the head and was evacuated to the hospital ship Sicilia. He died of his wounds on the 24th July and was buried at sea. His medals and Memorial Plaque were sent to his step-brother, William, at 3 Blaencaerau Road, Caerau, Wales.
All three medals are correctly impressed 7/218 TPR. D. JENKINS. N.Z.E.F. and the Memorial Plaque is correctly embossed DANIEL JENKINS. The group is mounted, so photographs of the complete reverse of the star have not been obtained, but it is guaranteed correct.