The youngest of eight children from a prominent Canterbury family, brothers Robin and Gordon Harper signed up eagerly to enlist in World War l. The Harpers fought in Turkey and Egypt as machine gunners with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, earning medals for their bravery at Hill 60 in Gallipoli. Using their farming skills, the brothers found each other on the battlefield with their distinctive dog whistles. Susan Harper, a relative of the pair, displays a Turkish machine gun one of the brothers brought home. The other sibling was killed in battle in Egypt.
Everybody in the regiment was frightfully cut up about him, and his own gun section simply broke down and cried like children as they loved him — every one of them.– Robin Harper, in a letter to family discussing Gordon Harper's death
Made with funding from NZ On Air
NZ History page on the Harper Brothers, plus links to further sources
Blog about the Harper family in World War l, NZ World War One Memorials website
Stuff article on Brothers in Arms, a book about the Harper brothers, April 2015
Auckland Museum cenotaph information on Robin (aka Robert) Harper