“My Great Grandfather Pioneered Plastic Surgery at Gallipoli” - Hope 103.2

“My Great Grandfather Pioneered Plastic Surgery at Gallipoli”

Hope 103.2's announcer Katrina Roe shares her very personal connection to the history of the Anzacs and their tragic landing at Gallipoli 100 years ago.

By Clare BruceFriday 24 Apr 2015Hope MorningsInspirational StoriesReading Time: 2 minutes

Above: Hope 103.2 announcer Katrina Roe and her great-grandfather, the famed cranio-facial surgeon, Sir Henry Newland (1873-1969).

Hope 1032’s announcer Katrina Roe has reason to feel proud when Anzac Day comes around each year. She is the great-granddaughter of an Australian medical hero, Sir Henry Newland, who became famous for pioneering plastic and reconstructive surgery in Gallipoli.

Sir Newland, who lived from 1873 to 1969, did work that the history books say was ‘remarkable’, transforming soldiers with horrific facial and head wounds.

“He worked hard to stretch the skin to hide wounds,” Katrina said. “His experiences in Gallipoli and seeing the disfigurement of soldiers was very influential on him and forming the direction of his career.”

He served with the Australian Imperial Force in not only Gallipoli but also Egypt, Lemnos and France.

For his great work in the area of plastic surgery and facio-maxillary injuries, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and was also appointed C.B.E (a Commander of the Order of the British Empire), as well as receiving a knighthood.

Sir Newland a ‘Real Character’

Katrina said Sir Newland, who was her mother’s grandfather, was “a real character” and quite revered in her family’s memory.

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“He died in the 1960s but lived to the age of 95 and my mum talked about him a lot,” she said.

“I do have a sense of pride about him not just because he is family but also because he’s Australian. To have that link and to know that he was doing something to help soldiers to fit back into society after the war, and reintegrate, I’m quite proud of that.”

Katrina says there were some heirlooms in her family’s home including a bell and a typewriter that her great grandfather had brought back from Gallipoli.

“We always had this bell in the bookshelf but [as a child] I never knew what it was, and it had so much more significance when I learnt it was something he brought back.

“He had cut it off a dead goat at Gallipoli.”

While that may sound gruesome, Katrina says it was a poignant reminder that animals died in war too.

She said she would remember him when Australia celebrates 100 years since the Gallipoli landing.

“It definitely makes Anzac Day more meaningful for me.”