This pocket watch belonged to the family of Gallipoli soldier Private Albert Dixon Cochrane.
Pocket watches were a common item carried by New Zealand and Australian soldiers as they headed to WWI. Some were gifts from the place of work, a family memento, or a commemoration piece, if unfortunately, the soldier did not return home.
Albert Cochrane’s father was a grand mason and it is believed this watch was given by the Masonic Lodge. The watch is engraved with “HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY, DARDANELLES, ALBERT COCHRANE, AUG 8TH 1915”
Albert Cochrane was originally off a farm on the West Coast of the South Island but enlisted in Wanganui with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. He left for Egypt on 16 October 1914 and saw service at Gallipoli when during the attack on Chunuk Bair on 8 August 1915, he was killed in action. He was initially reported missing but as his body was not found, he was later listed as dead.
He is commemorated on Panel 19, Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.
This watch is currently on display in the latest exhibition, “A is for ANZAC: two armies, a shared history” in the Hassett Gallery.
Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.