Edward Fisher survived a dramatic fall on Mt Ruapehu, but was later killed at Walker’s Ridge, Gallipoli.
PHOTO/WAIRARAPA ARCHIVE

Edward Fisher was born in Brisbane and came to New Zealand, where he settled in Masterton.

In 1909 he was playing for the Third XV and that year they won their group’s championship. Fisher was regarded as a “very fine goalkicker”.

At this time, he was working as a telegraphist at the Masterton Post Office.

By 1910 he had moved, first to Waipukurau, and then to Taihape where he continued to work as a telegraphist.

In 1913, he attempted to climb Mt Ruapehu but when he was close to the summit, he slipped.

He slid down the mountain for 180 metres, frantically trying to stop his descent with his hands.

This resulted in the skin being flayed from both hands.

After bandaging himself he stubbornly pressed on to re-climb the mountain.

He would have soldiered on if he had not met another party coming down, who convinced him that he should seek medical help and abandon his current quest.

Fisher later transferred to the Wellington General Post Office, and was working here when war broke out.

He signed up for service on October 12, 1914, and left with the main body of New Zealand troops three days later.

He disembarked in Egypt in December and it was there that he completed his military training. He was then assigned to the Wellington Infantry Regiment.

He sailed with the main Anzac force for the Dardanelles and disembarked at what would later become known as Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915.

There, the Allies discovered a well dug-in Ottoman force and difficult terrain to traverse.

Just four days after landing at Gallipoli, Fisher was killed in action at Walker’s Ridge, an area of land that was under New Zealand occupation.

His body was never recovered and his name is recorded on the Lone Pine Memorial along with 752 other New Zealanders with no known grave.

Two weeks later, Edward Fisher’s cousin Walter Fisher also died at Gallipoli, and was buried at sea.

– Mark Pacey