8/1109 Cpl. Robert Torrie NZEF
Partial Trio and Memorial Plaque, DoW Gallipoli
The Gallipoli casualty group to Robert Torrie, who died of wounds received at Dead Man's Ridge, Gallipoli, whilst serving with 14th (South Otago) Company, Otago Infantry Battalion.
Robert Torrie was born around 1893, although he claimed to have been born in 1890, at Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Son of John and Mary Martin Torrie (née Brown). His older brother, Peter, came to New Zealand, where he married Maria Sutherland in 1912. It has not been determined if Robert came to New Zealand with his brother, or arrived later once Peter had become settled at Dunedin.
Prior to his enlistment in 1914, Robert was working as a forester for the Dunedin City Corporation, whilst his brother, Peter, work for the tramways department of the DCC. Robert sailed with 14th (South Otago) Company, Otago Infantry Battalion, Main Body in the rank of private. He was promoted to lance-corporal on arrival in Egypt, and then to corporal in February 1915. He was almost certainly a first day lander at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915, but during the fateful attack on Baby 700 along Dead Man's Ridge on 2nd May, Robert suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was evacuated to the HMHS Gascon, where he died the following day. He was probably buried at sea, as he has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.
Back in New Zealand, the Scottish Borderers Association, of which the Torrie brothers were members, Robert's sacrifice was acknowledged: "The executive records its sincere regret at the untimely death of one of its valued members, Mr Robert Torrie, who fell on the field of battle at the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. While expressing the deepest sympathy with his bereaved parents and relatives in their irreparable loss, the members of the association cannot but feel proud of their connection with one who so bravely laid down his life for his King and country".
The British War Medal and Victory Medal are correctly impressed 8/1109 CPL. R. TORRIE. N.Z.E.F. and the Memorial Plaque has correct cast naming of ROBERT TORRIE. The 1914/15 Star with the group is genuine, but unnamed.