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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


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1916 CAMELIER PHOTOGRAPHS TO VIEW

Officer Commanding the New Zealand 15th Coy of the I.C.C. (Imperial Camel Corps) 7/796 Captain John Gordon McCallum inspects a desert lizard with fellow New Zealander Lieutenant Blackett also of the Cameliers.
This photograph carries the notation:
"Natural history for all. Blackett and I improve our minds by studying a chameleon and Freeth rushes off for the camera."

This photo and others in a collection have been preserved by John's grand nephew Wayne McCallum, and are now available to view on his website HERE.

John McCallum (right of image) was a Solicitor from Motueka in civilian life before joining the 10th Nelson Squadron - Canterbury Mounted Rifles. He departed New Zealand with the 3rd Reinforcements CMR on the 14th February 1915. Transferred to the newly formed Cameliers in 1916 Captain McCallum was to lead his contingent into its first major action at Magdabah, December 1916, where the 15th Coy had 10 wounded casualties. Alas, on the 9th January 1917, just a few days later, he too was to fall seriously wounded at the Battle of Rafa. This action came as the Cameliers crossed out of the Sinai Desert into Turkish Palestine. Two days later on the 11th January John died of his wounds.
The Association has available free to download a copy of Robertson's book "With the Cameliers in Palestine" telling the story of the New Zealand's involvement with the I.C.C.
"Blackett" referred to in the caption of the photograph is another former Canterbury Mounted Rifleman; 7/170 George Raymond Blackett who departed New Zealand with the Main Body convoy on the 16th October 1914 - both men were veterans of Gallipoli. George Blackett went on to survive the Great War.


photograph Sinai 1916 - McCallum collection


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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



"MANCURAH ON THE NILE"
Corporal Albert Anderson's 1919 photo left titled "Mancurah on the Nile" now endorses the whereabouts of the first photo titled: "Mancurah Camp" we presented here two weeks ago.
Mancurah City in the Nile Delta has also been confirmed in Colonel Powles book "New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine" as one of the last Camps the NZMR occupied before returning to New Zealand in 1919. The men appear in the insert photo to be wearing new issue tunics, probably issued to the men for the return home, they hardly look like garments that have seen four years in the deserts of the Middle East.

PALESTINIAN SADDLE INSPECTION

photograph Corporal Albert Anderson Collection - AMR - 1918
Sergeant "Bill" Stevens of the Auckland Mounted Rifles takes the opportunity of a saddle inspection to show off his beloved steed - Turkish Palestine 1918.
I went hunting through the "Anderson Photographic Collection" as I was sure I had scanned recently a number of "side-shots" of the troopers and their mounts - I was especially keen to post this, as there has been a discussion on our Forum as to the folding and placement of horse saddle blankets - this particular photo must show the regulation folding and position, as Sergeant Stevens has only just saddled up, another trooper is in the process in the right background (the blanket square appears to be folded the same size). The rest of the Trooper's saddles and cloths still sit in line after the inspection.
Although we know that Albert Anderson was with the AMR, we can be sure that Bill was also a member as the white/red/white Auckland Colour Identification flash is clearly visible on the hat band pugaree of the hat.
Full Name: William Francis Stevens
Surname: Stevens
Serial No.: 50782
First Known Rank: Trooper
Occupation before Enlistment: Farmer
Next of Kin: Charles Stevens (father), Maungatapere, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit: 31st Reinforcements Mounted Rifles Brigade
Embarkation Date: 13 November 1917
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Tofua
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Nominal Roll Number: 74
Read out from the Auckland War Memorial Musuem's "Cenotaph Database"

THE ANZAC DIVISION


Above: The Anzac Division's emblem - incorporating New Zealand's Silver Fern and Australia's Boomerang.

Formed after the Gallipoli Campaign in 1916 the Anzac Division was first led by Australian Major General H.G. "Harry" Chauvel. The A and NZ Division as it was first called was assembled to defend the Suez Canal from an expected Turko-German attack.
In 1917 until 1919 command of the Anzac Division was handed onto Major General E.W.C. "Fiery Ted" Chaytor. The first New Zealander to command a Division during World War One.
Wellington Mounted Rifleman William "Bill" Meldrum who had been temporary commander of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade was promoted Brigadier General commanding the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on 23 April 1917 after Chaytor had been promoted to O.C. the Anzac Division.

Make up of the Anzac Division:

New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade

1st Light Horse Brigade

  • 1st Light Horse Regiment (New South Wales)
  • 2nd Light Horse Regiment (Queensland and Northern Territory)
  • 3rd Light Horse Regiment (South Australia and Tasmania)

2nd Light Horse Brigade

  • 5th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland)
  • 6th Light Horse Regiment (New South Wales)
  • 7th Light Horse Regiment (New South Wales)

Light Horse Field Ambulance

  • Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance
  • Also included in the Anzac Division during the Sinai Campaign 1916 was the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and 5th Yeomanry Brigade (English) - in 1917 the 3rd LHB were tansferred to become part of the Australian Division.

"OUR SERGEANT"

The photograph collection of Corporal Albert Anderson continues to release its secrets. Albert has written on this image "Our Sergeant". The name of the Mounted Rifleman on the wooden cross is obscured in the over developed photograph, but fortunately the lower two lines are just legible - they read: "Killed in Action - 9th August 1916".

To find out the name of the man that Albert held in such high regard I needed to research events that took place in the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment for that day.
The hand written War Diary of the Regiment shows that the NZMR Brigade was involved in its advance after defeating the enemy at Romani, and had pushed on to Katia, and now on the 8th August the Brigade was preparing to attack Bir El Abd early the next day.
The attack was to be a failure when the 3rd Light Horse Brigade failed to appear at the start time of the attack, leaving the Brigades flank exposed. The Turks counter attacked and after a day of heavy fighting and great heroism by the Machine Gunners the attack was able to be broken off with relative little loss of life considering the intensity of the counter attack.
Sergeant Mark Vipond from Matakana in Rodney, North Auckland, was Albert's Sergeant and one of eleven Aucklanders to fall in action that day. Others were to die later of wounds received. One trooper wrote:
"Chaps who had been on Gallipoli had not seen [action] hotter, I do not want to go through it again..."

In total 30 members of the NZMR Brigade were killed this day the 9th August 1916. 73 Anzacs in all.


Photograph Albert Anderson collection - 1916
Below: The Auckland Mounted Rifles War Diary transcribed from the hand written document held in Archives, reference 35/2/15 part 1 - Aug1916. These dates cover the events leading to Mark's death.
Note that items enclosed in straight brackets are mine, the transcriber, and are from the dates 8th and 9th August 1916 only, transcribed 3rd June 2010.
Sadly Sergeant Mark Vipond's name is not notated in the War Diary - convention of the day listed only names of Officers killed. Men Killed in Action (KIA) from the "Other Ranks" were only recorded by their numbers.

8th August 1916
RABAH Regiment [AMR] moved out with Brigade at 0430 and moved right onto OGHRATINA – the enemy having retired during the night.
Patrols were sent forward and got into touch with the enemy patrols at DEBABIS.
Regiment left OGHRATINA with the Brigade at 1115 and arrived at DEBABIS at 1330 and bivouacked for the night. Enemy patrols pushed in, reports received that they were holding BIR EL ABD in force – No Casualties.
Message (written on board) found at OGHRATINA cordially written by a German Artillery Officer or N.C.O. stating that 2nd Lieutenant Allsopp was a prisoner of war.
[Note: a longer version of this message written sideways into the margin of the War Diary and states:]

Copy of Message found at OGHRATINA written on a board – “Here was a German Artillerie Obserwation Poste and had seen all the movements of the English Cavalarie – Lieut Allsopp A.M. Rifles now a Prisoner of War – a Gentleman – had eaten in our Batterie. Dates 5/6 VIII.16.”

Operation order by Brigadier General Chaytor issued at 1700.  The intention of G.O.C. being to attack BIR EL ABD at 0630 on the 9th instant with 3rd Brigade on the right flank and the 2nd Brigade on left.

9th August 1916
DEBABIS Regiment moved out of DEBABIS with the Brigade at 0430 and furnished the Advance Guard to the Brigade.
Lieutenant Coates and Reid being sent out as Advance Patrols.
Patrols and Advance Screen got into touch with the enemy ay 0515.
Orders received at 0545 from G.O.C. for Regiment to withdraw the Advance Screen and attack BIR EL ABD on the South Telegraph line at 0630 and that the 3rd Brigade would support on the right flank.
3rd Squadron [AMR] on the left and 2 troops of the 11th Squadron [NAMR] and one section of Machine Guns under Lieutenant McCarroll on the right commenced to advance at 0620.
One section of Machine Guns under Lieutenant Hinman covered the 3rd Squadron’s advance.
Reports received at 0645 that the enemy were bringing up large reinforcements over the long ridge S.E. of BIR EL ABD and the Regiment was compelled to extend its front on the right as the 3rd Brigade [ALH] had not yet arrived.
At 0700 Major McCarroll went on
[Note: new page in diary reference 640 5]
9th August
to command the right of the sector held by the Regiment and also took up 2 Troops (4th Squadron [Waikato]) in support.
The C.M.R. [Canterburys] who were on the left and the Regiment made steady advance and the enemy were pushed back.
At 0900 our right flank was reinforced with one Squadron of the 5th Light Horse as the 3rd Brigade [Light Horse] had not arrived.
Steady advances were made both by the C.M.R. and the left flank and at 1100 we held a line running S.E. and N.W. across Telegraph line.  At 1120 CMR and 2 Troops 3rd Squadron on the left were compelled to retire on account of heavy enfilade fire and we were compelled to withdraw to the left flank back to the Telegraph line which left us with two exposed flanks as the 3rd Brigade had not yet been reported.  The enemy attacked our position strongly at 1145 but we were able to hold them with reinforcements [that] arrived at 1200 (2 troops Warwick Yeomanry, 1 Troop 5th Light Horse and one section W.M.R. [Wellington] Machine Guns).
Further reinforcements arrived at 1430 and were sent out to reinforce the right flank as the 5th Light Horse on the extreme right flank reported the enemy were advancing in force on the ridge held by them.
Report received by Major McCarroll at 1350 that 2 Troop of 3rd Brigade had been seen within a 1000 yards of our right flank at 1200 but they had since disappeared.  At 1500 we were holding the enemy well.  At 1615 orders were received orders from G.O.C. to withdraw to a position 1000yards W on line running North and South over Telegraph line.
Major McCarroll took charge of the withdrawal on the right flank of the sector and on receipt of his report at 1800 that the right flank had started to withdraw the Warwick Yeomanry and the 5th Light Horse troops were withdrawn on the left flank followed by the WMR Machine Gun section and then the 3rd and 4th Squadrons.
At 1830 the whole of the Regiment including all troops that had been sent up to reinforce had been successfully withdrawn.
[Note: new page reference 640 6 ]
9th August (continued)
with few casualties, considering the way the enemy advanced when they saw the withdrawal taking place and the exceptionally heavy rifle and machine gun fire which was brought to bear on us.
Lieutenant Hinman and his section of Machine Guns did very good work in covering the retirement from the left flank, as did Lieutenant McCarroll with his Machine Gun section in covering the retirement on the right flank.  The final withdrawal was delayed on account of shortage in sand carts for evacuating the wounded, but the latter were all successfully got out before the withdrawal actually started.
The Brigade rendezvoused at DEBABIS and when all units were reported present at 1930 – the Brigade moved back to OGHRATINA and bivouacked for the night.
Casualties – Killed in Action:  Captain O. Johnson.
Wounded in Action:  Captain Aldred, 2nd Lieutenant A.M. Martin
Killed in Action: (3rd Squadron) 4 O/R [Ordinary Ranks]
Killed in Action: (4th Squadron) 6 O/R
Wounded in Action: (3rd Squadron) 10 O/R
Wounded in Action: (4th Squadron) 7 O/R
Wounded in Action: (11th Squadron) 2 O/R
[Diary then continues onto 10th August 1916].

12/404 Lieutenant Alexander Martin Died of Wounds (DOW) 10th Sep 1916 after secondary infection complications arose after head surgery in Cairo.
13/264 Lieutenant Frank Allsop survived the war after serving the remainder of hostilities in a POW camp Turkey.
13/152 Captain Olaf Johnson was from Kauri, Whangarei. Departed Lieutenant with the Main Body.

RESTRUCTURING BETWEEN WARS

16th Australian Light Horse Hat Badge. - 1903 -1912
see: History and structure of the 16th at the ALH Studies Centre.

Before there were ANZAC's there was still a strong bond between Australian and New Zealand soldiers. During the South African War of 1899 - 1902 both nations could rely on friendly Mounted Troopers in support.
Like New Zealand, Australian forces found themselves in a state of flux after the Boer War. The units that sailed to South Africa had used large catchment areas to gather troops for enlistment, and it was obvious that smaller territories were required to localise and better train and prepare young men for war. Much sabre rattling by the world's militant Empires made nations uneasy at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Restructuring began immediately and by 1903 remnants of the South Australian Mounted Rifles were formed into the 16th Australian Light Horse Regiment. Across Australia each State restructured with new Regiments. In New Zealand the "Rough Rider" Contingents made way for the new territorial areas of Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.
Alas, for the 16th ALH their history was to last only until 1912, when they were in turn divided up into more new units being allocated within the South Australian State.


13/75 MAJOR WALTER HAEATA
I have a number of small folders headed with individual troopers names who served with the NZMR during the Great War. Usually these folders only hold one or two references to the soldier named. My hope is that sooner or later there will be enough information collected to tell the tale of the man involved. One such folder is titled: Walter "Tohe" Haeata, - to date there has been little information on this Maori warrior who rose in rank to that of Major with the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and was Mentioned in Dispatches (M.I.D.).
His photo appeared on page 216 of the "Story of Two Campaigns" (below) and another image appeared on the Auckland War Memorial's Cenotaph site in a pre-war camp when he was a Sergeant, but little else is known.
Then a few months ago a military law book with his name written on the spine was auctioned off on "TradeMe" (right) which probably didn't hold any personal information about the man. Still I cling to the hope more will come to light!

Above: A book placed at auction
the name W.Haeata NZMR written
on the book spine.
Below: Sergeant Haeata with 1914
style slouch-hat in camp pre-departure.

Left: Major Haeata sits holding a playful puppy between his knees. beside him sits his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel McCarroll and Lieutenant Stewart, Palestine 1918

You will understand my surprise as I sorted through the scanned photos of Corporal Alfred Anderson's collection that I had processed last month (Apr2010). Once the collection was handed back to the owner I have been taking my time correcting images and removing age spots and rips that were on the originals to then place on our NZMR website. On this photo above the notation has written on the back: "Major Haeata's Pony". - So a little more to the story of Hawke's Bay man born on the 18th June 1891. With Archives NZ slowly but surely digitizing Army Records - we will learn a little more later.