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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


Comments from Webmaster Steve Butler ■ Email contact


PREPARING FOR WAR - 1914

Wearing their hats in the 1914 "Slouch" style with the brim turned up and attached to the bowl on the left-hand side, cousins, 13/224 Angus Dunning, commonly known as "Pat" (lower) and 62278 Archibald "Archie" Dunning pose in this Auckland Mounted Rifles Pre-War Troop departure photograph.
Both men were to survive the Great War.
Pat departed New Zealand with the Main Body convoy on board the "Star of India", October 1914. Although wounded in the arm on Gallipoli (AMR War Diary - June 27th 1915) he recovered to continue service until the Armistice in 1918.
Archie departed with the 32nd Reinforcements NZMR in November 1917. Both cousins remained in the Middle East and continued on to Europe to represent the New Zealand Military in inter-force Rugby Internationals, Finally retuning home in August 1919.

Left: Photograph, from segment of 1914 AMR Troop sitting, pre-departure, Dunning Family Collection. Computer colourised.



SITE MAP







21st Anniversary issue
penny and half-penny
stamps 1936.







50th Anniversary issue
4 penny and 5 penny
stamps 1965.







2008 stamp
90th Anniversary of
Anzac 2008.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



NZMR BRIGADE BADGES AND PUGGAREE FLASHES SINAI PALESTINE
Regimental hat colour flashes used by the three Regiments that made up the NZMR Brigade in the Middle East during World War One.
Top Row: Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment consisted of three Squadrons, showing hat badges from left to right, 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles Squadron, 11th North Auckland Mounted Rifles Squadron and 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles Squadron.
Middle Row: Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment consisted of three Squadrons, showing hat badges from left to right, 2nd Queen Alexandria's Mounted Rifles Squadron, 9th East Coast Mounted Rifles Squadron and 6th Manawatu Mounted Rifles Squadron.
Bottom Row: Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment consisted of three Squadrons, showing hat badges from left to right, 1st Canterbury Mounted Rifles Squadron, 10th Nelson Mounted Rifles Squadron and 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles Squadron.
Note: Although New Zealand troopers wore colour flashes on hat-bands, members of the Australian Light Horse wore Regimental colour flashes as patches sewn onto the shoulders of their tunics.

FINDING WATER
Major Alexander of the Anzac Engineers makes note on this eleventh photo in a series photographed in the Sinai Desert (circa1916):

11. Horse carrying G.S. Pump and set of through standards.


The instructions he documented for others to copy and understand was the result of intense trail and redesign by the Engineers to find and develop equipment to supply water to the massive numbers of troops put into the field during the Sinai Campaign.
Among John Alexanders papers were many technical drawings he made to submit to his Engineers working in the near impossible conditions of the Desert.

Below: A detail drawing to upgrade harness fittings to improve the ability for the Machine Gunners to transport their heavy weapons on the backs of their horses.

REMNANTS OF A HASTY RETREAT

photograph Corporal Alfred Anderson - AMR - Ayun Kara November 1918.

A further photograph from the camera of Alfred Anderson. A dead horse and a enemy mountain gun lie in a shallow wadi surrounded by abandoned wagons of the defeated Turkish Division who were engaged by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade in a day long battle outside of the Jewish settlement of Richon Le Zion on the 14th November 1918. Fifty New Zealanders were to loose their lives this day.
The Turkish entrenchments were dug along the crests of hills near the Mediterranean Coast in an attempt to hold back the British Army after the breakout by Allenby along the Gaza - Beersheba defensive line 14 days before. The advance by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade covered a distance from Beersheba to Ayun Kara engaging the enemy on a number of occasions to cross the ancient biblical lands of Philistia from East to west, and South to North in two short weeks - the greatest advance by Allied Forces in such a short time during the Great War.
Major A.H. Wilkie wrote in his "Official War History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment 1914-1919";
(Full text of this history available HERE.)

The Turkish force consisted of 1500 men, a battery of artillery, and eighteen machine guns, strongly posted in positions that dominated the surrounding country. In comparison, the New Zealand Brigade was numerically weak, less than 800 rifles being in the line.

FAMILY AT WAR

Probably - Ivan Dale-Taylor or possibly Hilton Dale-Taylor, his twin brother.
photograph from the Trooper Fred Foote Collection - circa 1915 - computer colourised.
Going through and scanning the collection of Trooper Fred Foote's photographs is an revealing experience as each photo peels back a little of his life with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Signals section.
Many of the images still have their story locked away in the past, and this particular photo (left) had me fooled for a long time. Written on the obverse was the simple message: "Yours Sincerely Dale Taylor 20.3.17".
The more I searched for Trooper Taylor the more frustrating became the search - there were many "Taylor's" who departed for the Great War, and obviously this Trooper Taylor is wearing the easily identifiable "Auckland Mounted Rifles" collar badges. But alas no luck until I revisited the hastily written script on the back of the photo again recently. "Yours Sincerely Dale-Taylor 20.3.17" - yes, I had missed the clue, there was a hyphen there - and sure enough the Auckland War Memorial Museum Database produced three men with the surname "Dale-Taylor". Two of the men members of the NZMR.
I felt I was close to identifying my man in the image, one Sergeant Ivan Dale-Taylor was shown as a Wellington Mounted Rifleman, the other was listed as Lieutenant Tom Dale-Taylor from the AMR. However the photo carried on the "Cenotaph" site was not the same man as in my photo. The third man on the list was Lance Corporal Hilton Dale-Taylor who had departed with the Infantry with the 1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade - not a Mounted Rifleman and considering his departure date of 9th October 1915 would most likely arrived in Egypt as the NZEF retreated from Gallipoli and he would have been sent straight on to the European Theatre rather than stay in the Middle East.

So, when at a loss, try a 21st Century approach. I looked up "Dale-Taylor" on Telecom's whitepages web phone book. There stood out the obvious - Dale-Taylor, Whagarei - the home area of Fred Foote, and sure enough, once I explained my quest to the family they were very pleased to talk to me. I sent a copy of the photograph through by email, and the family were excited to see a close family relation in a photo they had not seen before. But still nothing is easy, interesting, but not easy. There is no rank displayed on our man's photo - so which of the three is this man.
Mary Dale-Taylor replied by email that all three men were related, Tom, the Lieutenant was the father of the two identical twin brothers. The sons were born 19th August 1896. Her husband Terry felt that he was sure that the photo was of his father Hilton.
However I am not convinced that this is Hilton as the family confirmed that Hilton did serve in France as they have a diary of his from his European service. It is more probable that Ivan transferred from the WMR into AMR signals while serving with the NZMR.
But what of the father, Lieutenant Tom Dale-Taylor? Unfortunately Tom was to be Wounded in Action during the breakout from the Battle of Romani on the 5th August 1916. He was to die from those wounds ten days later on the 15th August. His cenotaph particulars, and the AMR War Field Diary are reproduced below covering the events of his death.

Full Name: Second Lieutenant Thomas Dale-Taylor
Rank Last Held: Second Lieutenant
Forename(s): Thomas
Serial No.: 13/2981
First Known Rank: Second Lieutenant
Occupation before Enlistment: Traveller
Next of Kin: Mrs M. Dale(Taylor (wife), 520 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Marital Status: Married
Embarkation Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles, A Squadron
Embarkation Date: 29 February 1916
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Aparima
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Nominal Roll Number: 23
Page on Nominal Roll: 8
Campaigns:
  • Egypt
  • South AFrican Campaign
Last Unit Served: Auckland Mounted Rifles
Place of Death: Egypt
Date of Death: 15 August 1916
Year of Death: 1916
Cause of Death: Died of wounds
Cemetery Name: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Grave Reference: F. 131
Biographical Notes: Thomas Dale-Taylor was the son of Barrie and Charlotte Taylor.

Auckland Mounted Rifles Field Diary (in part for August 1916)

August 3rd 1916
Duty Regiment.
Operation Order by Brig. Gen. Chaytor received at 1700 for Regiment to proceed to DUIEDAR in support of 5th Light Horse on reconnaissance to BIR-NAQID.  The Regiment (less 11th Squadron) and one section and NZMR Machine Gun Squadron (lieutenant Hinman) left HILL 70 at 2200 and arrived at DUIEDAR and relieved 5th Light Horse at 2400.

August 4th
DUIEDAR
Patrols sent out to HILL 331 and HILL 383 at 0230.  Patrols reported “All Clear” at 0430.
Report received from 5th LH Regiment at 0700 that NAGID was clear.
Message received at 0900 from Brigade H.Q. for 2 Squadrons less 2 Troops (4th Squadron) to proceed in direction of CANTERBURY HILL and reinforce Main Body on the way.
Captain Ranstead, Lieutenant  Martin 2 troops (4th Squadron) detailed to remain DUIEDAR-QATIA road.  The Regiment reinforced the Brigade at 1030.  Enemy reported on our right flank at 1100 holding MOUNT ROLSTON.
[Diary continues next page]
Verbal Order received from G.O.C. for the 3rd Squadron to advance on ROYSTON with CMR on the left flank and Yeomanry on right.
2 troops of 4th Squadron and Machine Gun Section (under Lieutenant Hinman) under the command of Major McCarroll went up in support of 3rd Squadron at 1300.  On arrival of support, steady advance made.  Order – Signal message received from G.O.C. force that a general attack would be made on the enemy position at 1445.
1700 The enemy put up a number of white flags and 3 Officers and 150 Other/Ranks surrendered.  MOUNT ROYSTON taken at 1730 and by 1830 practically a whole Turkish Force in the vicinity of ROYSTON surrendered, Approximately 1000 prisoners, rifles, quantity of ammunition and 4 Mountain Guns were captured by CMR, Yeomanry and AMR.
Orders to withdraw received at 1900 and rendezvous at PELUSIUM.  On arrival of Infantry of 52nd Division.  Arrived at PELUSIUM 2100.
Casualties:             KIA: 2 O/R 3rd Squadron
                        Wounded: 4 O/R 3rd Squadron
                        Wounded: 2 O/R 4th Squadron.

5th August 1916
PELUSIUM.  The Regiment moved out from PELUSIUM with the Brigade at 0600 and furnished all protection on the march.  Arrived BIR-EN-NUSS 0730, where the 11th Squadron (less 1 troop) and 2nd troop of 4th Squadron rejoined the Regiment.  Report by the O.C. 11th Squadron received at 0800 that 2/Lieutenant Allsop and 7 O/R were missing from Outpost at ABU-RAML on night of 3rd August and believed to be Prisoners of War.
The Regiment left NUSS with the Brigade at 1030 in the direction of QATIA.
Verbal attack orders received at 1400 to attack the South West corner of the HOD with the 5th Light Horse Regiment on the left flank and the 3rd Brigade on the right flank, CMR in reserve.
The attack commenced at 1430, and as the 3rd Light Horse Brigade did not up on our right – CMR took the right flank.  The fighting continued throughout the
[AMR War Diary continues next page]
afternoon and at 1800 the 11th Squadron was withdrawn from the position held by the left and sent out on the right flank to support the CMR.  Orders to withdraw from the G.O.C. force at 1900 and rendezvous at a point 2 miles West on the QATIA-DUIEDAR road.
Lieutenant Johnson and 12 men (3rd Squadron) remained at QATIA as Listening Post.
On arrival at rendezvous point the Brigade moved back to KATIB GANNITT.  Arrived at 2330 and bivouacked for the night.
Casualties:            Wounded in Action:            2/Lieutenant T. Dale-Taylor
                        Wounded in Action:            2 O/R 3rd Squadron
                        Wounded in Action:            4 O/R 11th Squadron.
Lieutenant O.P. Johnson promoted to Captain, vice Captain J.J. Raynes seconded dated 27-6-16.
Captain J.J. Raynes returned to New Zealand on duty and to SECONDED dated 27-6-16.
Captain O.P. Johnson posted to NZMR Training Regiment and seconded 27-6-16.
2/Lieutenant W.H. Coates returned from Hospital dated 4-8-16.
[…end of excerpt from AMR War Diary – Diary continues on 6th August 1916, see archive.]


WORDS OF THE COLONEL TO LIVE ON
A recent request from the Keren Kayemeth Organisation in Israel means that the words written by Lieutenant Colonel James McCarroll will live on in the land where he wrote of events in his diary in 1917.
Eighteen months ago the Association was fortunate in being able to access the personal diaries of North Auckland Mounted Rifleman James Neil McCarroll from a family member. The diaries had never been transcribed before in their ninety year history, so it was a pleasure to transcribe and post James' thoughts here on our website for all to read and enjoy. His views of our history in the Great War have been eagerly read by historians across the globe and his diaries are regularly downloaded in excess of 300 times a month.
Since 2008 when a trek of Australian Light Horse enthusiasts made a reenactment ride across the original route taken by the Australian Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles to attack the Turkish garrison town of Beersheba, the Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel - the Jewish National Fund ('KKL-JNF' the primary environmental organization in Israel.) realised the importance of acknowledging the Anzacs, and are marking the route as a permanent fixture for the generations to come.

Alisa Toledano of KKL wrote in part:

...The trail will stretch from Gaza through – at this stage – to Beersheba and the aim is to provide signage and possibly other interpretive material at various sites that would highlight the military, historical and ecological aspects of selected key points along this route. This is quite an ambitious undertaking especially since it involves securing the support of many stakeholders in addition to ensuring that the information we publicise will be both factual as well as stimulating and informative. Our aim is that this ANZAC Trail will become one of the important areas to be visited along with Gallipoli and other ANZAC-related sites.

As part of the educational signage that we will be exhibiting along the trail, we would like to use the attached quotes that were sourced from your website.

It is of course important for us to know that we have permission to use this quote and that we give due credit to its source...


Of course the NZMRA is delighted that the thoughts of one of our own will be there for all to read, and permission to use the excepts are readily given. Our hope is that many New Zealanders will be able to take the opportunity to ride in the footsteps of their forefathers in the years to come.
Below are two of the diary entries Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel wish to post on the trail:-

30th October 1917 :
"We moved off at 1430 [note: time hard to read and debatable].  A starting point was found and each unit came in like the spokes of a wheel and formed in place – it was a great sight .
We moved off in three columns.  Wheeled units on the road, New Zealand and Australian [Division] on the right and Aussie Division on the left.  Never before had such a force moved off.  We were now south of Beersheba – we are to have a business interlude with the Turk tomorrow.  We carried two days rations for men and horses on the wagons.  So with water available for horses we could last four days.  Never before had the moon looked down on such a force in size and brightness, everyone was in great spirits.  We would have sung if we were allowed.  At every halt we lay down with our horses and slept .
We had to cross some very soft ground, result of previous rain, considerable area of cultivated land.  We were to halt at 2400 for two hours, so we had something to eat and a sleep.  I went along the Regiment, the whole force was asleep except a horse blowing something out of his nose – not another sound . "

Lieutenant-Colonel James McCarroll
11th North Auckland Mounted Rifles – NZMR

James McCarroll led the Aucklanders on the attack of  Tel el Saba
--------------------------------------

Tel el Saba
"Established the fact of water in the wadi, the second was the hill, a very prominent round hill close to the wadi. At 0800 I got orders to take it, about two miles away, very open ground.  11th [North Auckland Mounted Rifles] went in first and came under very heavy fire as soon as they got to the wadi...
To go up out of the wadi was difficult open ground and the banks were about twenty feet high.  It looked to me, by keeping close to the North bank the men could get up in single file, then the bend in the wadi gave us some cover... 
It took some time to get up the hill in single file, machine guns were working hard and soon the 11th were climbing out of the wadi and up the hill...  Some of the Light Horse came along and I arranged with Colonel Bill to go over to the left…We dismounted in the wadi and took the hill on foot... There was no doubt Tel el Saba was the key to the position, when the Turk lost that he had to retire."

Lieutenant-Colonel James McCarroll
11th North Auckland Mounted Rifles – NZMR

Full content of Lieutenant Colonel James McCarroll's Diaries are available to read HERE.

A POSTCARD TO A YOUNG GIRL
I always enjoy the letters that arrive from the public each week.
Unfortunately many have too few clues in the content for me to help in solving the riddles hidden in the images and letters photographed and written all those years ago.
All I can do is give a few pointers to help in the search - but what is really required is a fair bit of time in researching the material that is available.
Here is one such email that I wish I could help further.

Hi Steve

I have a postcard sent from Mounted Rifleman Walter in Egypt 1917 to Melva McKenzie, a 9 year old girl living in Hastings .

Can you or your Association please help with Identification?

I am assuming that Walter was either a relative or close family friend.

Melva’s Father’s younger brother was called Walter but he was not in the Mounted Rifles and only served in France in 1918.

Melva’s Mother’s maiden name was Austin but the only Walter Austin I can find was an Artillery officer and apparently no relation

I have found a Walter Austin Orbell from Hawkes Bay who served in the N.Z.M.R. but not until 1918.
(signed)
Norm Lamont

The above information looks very lean indeed. But all is not lost, but still a daunting task to get closer to identifying this man.
"Walter" is just about all we have. However "Walter" wears a lance Corporal's stripe, and supposedly he has exchanged his Reinforcements Hat and Collar badges for the 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles Squadron badges.
Plus we have the words Walter has written on the reverse of the postcard shown above, the simple message reads:

"To Dear Melva From Walter Egypt 15/4/17"

So what do we "think" we have?
By signing his name Walter on the reverse of the postcard confirms that his first name is Walter, rather than Walter being a surname or family name, and surely this is not her fathers brother, as it would be signed 'Uncle Walter'.
The Cenotaph search engine at The Auckland War Memorial Museum data base lists 2038 soldiers who served in the First World War as having Walter as a Forename or middle name.
Refining this a little further we find that close to ten percent of that total served with the NZMR with that forename, actually 234 men. With a little more time and effort one could eliminate many of those men by reading each of those 234 files and keep only AMR men as possibles.
There are no men listed in the NZMR with the combination of names Walter and Austin, or Walter and McKenzie or Mackenzie.
Perhaps my only real input is to state why I feel this man is a Reinforcement trooper:
It appears to have been the norm for all troopers arriving in Egypt to "see the sights" soon after they arrived, and nearly all the men had their photographs taken at the Pyramids in Cairo within a week or two of arrival. It would be very unusual for an older serving "Main Body Man" (an original trooper who left NZ in 1914) to have had a souvenir photo taken in 1917 - that would have been very old hat. On that basis, and that basis only, I believe these two men would have been with the 21st or 22nd NZMR Reinforcements (they arrived Egypt, February 1917).
But then again, I could be well off the mark.

Let us know how you get on Norm! and thanks for sending in the postcard.