Death of All Black Dave Gallaher

Death of All Black Dave Gallaher

Thirteen former All Black rugby players were killed in the First World War  one in 10 of those who had worn the black jersey during the previous decade. Four of them were killed within a fortnight in June 1917 when the New Zealand Division took part in the assault on the Messines ridge.

The most famous of these casualties was Sergeant Dave Gallaher, who had captained the All Black Originals on their celebrated 1905–06 tour of Britain, France and North America. He was mortally wounded 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 to fight in the South African War in 1901.

In recent years All Black teams touring France have paid homage to Gallaher at his Belgian grave. His name lives on in the Gallaher Shield, awarded to the winner of Auckland’s premier club competition since 1922. A more recent trophy, the Dave Gallaher Cup, has since 2000 been held by the winner of the first rugby test between New Zealand and France in each calendar year.

All Blacks killed in the First World War

Name AB no. Date of Death Place of Death Age
Albert Downing 176 8 Aug 1915 Gallipoli 29
Henry Dewar 175 19 Aug 1915 Gallipoli 31
Frank Wilson 166 19 Sep 1916 Somme 31
Robert Black 211 21 Sep 1916 Somme 23
George Sellars 182 7 Jun 1917 Messines 31
James Baird 190 7 Jun 1917 ‘France’ (Messines?) 23
Reginald Taylor 202 20 Jun 1917 Messines 28
James McNeece 199 21 Jun 1917 Messines 31
Dave Gallaher 97 4 Oct 1917 Passchendaele 43
‘Jum’ Turtill 139 9 Apr 1918 France 38
Eric Harper 112 30 Apr 1918 Palestine 40
Ernest Dodd 83 11 Sep 1918 Havrincourt, France 38
Alex Ridland 164 5 Nov 1918 France 36

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1 comment has been posted about Death of All Black Dave Gallaher

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Angeline murphy

Posted: 02 Jan 2015

This is my husbands great grandfather would love to get him a trophy replicer for him my husbands name is Christopher clough known as Christopher Murphy