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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


Comments from Webmaster Steve Butler ■ Email contact


TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND DODGES THE BULLET

itinerant Television New Zealand reporter Mr Sinclair gets it all wrong as he postures himself on the evacuated and destroyed British military Barracks South of Israel's capital. He declares that this pile of twisted steel, brick and rubble destroyed by artillery and rocket attack after WWII is actually the ruins of the Arab village of Surafend of World War ONE.
To take his camera to this place and record such footage is more than dishonest when it must be considered that Mr Sinclair and his research team were told before they left New Zealand that the village of Surafend no longer exists, and nothing remained of the subsequent 1920 rebuilt village either - Cleared away in the 1950's for a military airfield - sixty years before Mr Sinclair arrived.
This was not the end of Mr Sinclair's errors, he continued to present unverified research to the New Zealand public as fact.
Desperately looking for support for his programmes pivotal claim that 137 Arabs were killed by Anzac and British renegade soldiers during a retaliation attack for an Arab villager murdering one of their own soldiers. Mr Sinclair assured the public of New Zealand that a letter he produced on screen and, importantly, he stated was held in National Archives Australia, actually stated this number 137. Unfortunately for him and the truth, the letter he used does not contain such a figure, in fact, there is no mention of figures relating to deaths at Surafend.

As you would expect we as an Association representing the NZMR were astounded at Mr Sinclair's bent on history and the facts. We are not opposed to an accurate programme judged on historical evidence, but to use fabricated material is not a Kiwi thing to do. We complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority and Monday the Authority released its findings to our complaint.
The BSA did not uphold our complaint.
The BSA committee Chaired by Mr Peter Radich released this eight page document - HERE.

We were very surprised that the document the BSA released to the public was so one sided in its outline.
In the eight A4 pages the NZMRA's complaint has been so watered down and changed it relates little to our complaint, and only mentions eight points and covered a quarter of page 3.
We were sure then that the BSA Committee had not been given the full documentation of our complaint. As we had been specific in pointing out that Mr Sinclair's voice-over had stated the letter he used to verify statements was not what he said "Preserved in Australian Archives". We could see that this statement alone was not a "Material point of fact" and most definitely did "Mislead" - both specifics clarified in the BSA own Standard 5 on Accuracy.
Alas, No, states Mr Radich and his Committee - our complaint is denied on the Accuracy Standard as "the standard has now changed and now relates to material points of fact" (see paragraph [37] )
Pardon! - the paragraph above states and the BSA website states [36] "...and/or does not mislead".

There are many points to consider - is the Broadcasting Standards Authority perhaps a "Broadcasters Protection Authority" - we would like to hear your comments HERE.



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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUSTRIAN ARTILLERYMAN

Unknown Officer - circa 1918 - computer colourised.

The dual Monarchy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a committed belligerent in WW1. As a member of the Central Powers* they readily supported Turkish aspirations to expand their territories in the Middle East, and sent forces to aid Von Sanders and Jamal Pasha in the Ottoman provinces.

The combined royal houses of the Hapsburgs, ruled over by Emperor Franz Joseph, had many problems to overcome. Besides being an Empire of peoples speaking diverse languages the Austrian Army and the Hungarian Royal Army were separate forces trying to combine as one. Their fighting men were made up of 47% Slavs - of which some 15% were Czechs, 9% Poles, 8% Ruthenians and 7% Serbo-Croats. 29% of the whole were German-speaking; 18% were Hungarians, 5% Romanians and 1% Italians. Add to this mix 40% of the Officers were lost in fighting during the first few months of the war.

However the Austrian forces had developed one of the most sophisticated artillery pieces of the Great War, the Škoda 30.5 cm Mörser M.11 (capable of firing 11 Kilometers), and Austrian gunners were regarded as expert artillerymen, which the NZMR were to confront on a number of occasions.
The slaughter of British Infantry at the First Battle of Gaza was due in large part to the garrison having seven artillery batteries comprising 22 assorted field guns and mountain howitzers. Two of these batteries were manned by the Austrians.

Left: An unknown Austrian Artillery Officer stands next to the Coat of Arms of the two-headed eagle representing the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary.
Austrian uniforms worn during the earlier part of the war were usually 'Pike Grey' colour, but In 1916 the first Austro-Hungarian khaki tropical uniforms were issued to the Von Marno Mountain Howitzer Division ("Gebirgshaubitzdivision von Marno") which was sent to support the Ottoman army in Palestine and later to other Austro-Hungarian units. This Officer appears to be wearing the Tropical issue helmet and uniform of the Orientkorps.

* Central Powers: German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Kingdom of Bulgaria.


STAR OF INDIA
Trooper Pat Dunning of the Auckland Mounted Rifles writes home from Western Australia as the men of the Main Body make their way by convoy to Egypt:

29/10/14
Dear Dolly

Arrived in Albany about ten yesterday morning. We are anchored out near the entrance and all the Australian Troopships are also here and the harbour is just about full up with big ships. We are stopping here till Sunday and we don't know for sure where we are going to next. The New Zealand cruisers left shortly after we came in and the Japanese boat left last night. So it looks as if the Australian fleet is going to take us on. Eddie is sick now, he went into hospital last night, but I have not heard how he is getting on today. The doctor thought he was getting the measles, but they had not showed on him then.
This photo of the "Star" was taken in Wellington and it will give you a good idea of what Wellington is like. The weather is a bit warmer here than it is in Auckland. - Pat.

On the 16th October 1914 the "Star of India, His Majesty's New Zealand Transport number 8 (HMNZT 8), leaves Wellington Harbour in convoy with the Main Body of troops being sent to the Great War.
The picture postcard Pat Dunning sends home shows the "Star" leaving the protection of Wellington Heads. Clearly seen on the fore decks are lines of "Horse Boxes" that were used to house a few dozen of the Auckland Mounted Rifles lucky steads. The majority of the Regiments horses were housed below decks and later have to suffer the stifling heat as the convoy crosses the tropics. Even though the Regiments Veterinarian Officer erects canvas sail funnels to force air below decks the heat is still very intense. Most of the men elect to sleep on the steel top decks rather than sleep in bunks below.
2010 ANZAC DAY STAMPS
New Zealand Post has released a new series of postage stamps to honour Anzac Day 2010. Two of the stamps pictured above reflect actions in which the New Zealand Mounted Rifles were involved in during WW1. The 50 cent stamp shows a group of Gallipoli veterans marching in a Anzac Day Parade in 1958. The $2.50 stamp has reproduced the Anzac Memorial in Port Said, Egypt in 1932. Of special interest on the statue is the casting of two mounted troopers, one New Zealand and one Australian with their horses.
During commissioning of the statue the sculptor was asked to make likenesses of New Zealand Mounted Rifleman, Clutha McKenzie, who had been blinded on Gallipoli, and the Brigades most famous horse "Bess" the mount of Lieutenant Colonel Guy Powels - the only horse to return to New Zealand after WW! that departed with the Main Body in October 1914.
More on Bess and the Anzac Memorial HERE.

SPORTSMAN AND WARRIOR

photograph Dunning collection - circa 1917 - computer colourised.

62278 Trooper Archibald McArthur Dunning of the 32nd Reinforcement NZMR departed New Zealand on the S.S. Tofua HMNZT 98 on the 13th November 1917 bound for Suez, Egypt.

Like his cousin, Sergeant "Pat" Dunning of the Auckland Mounted Rifles who had departed with the Main Body in 1914, both men enjoyed and played exceptional Rugby. Both cousins played for the Auckland Regiment, a team that proved to be team to beat throughout the hostilities. Competing against all comers during rest periods away from the front line during the Sinai Palestine Campaign the team was all victorious. The Regimental history was to note with pride that the team:

"...never had its line crossed; winners of the Anzac Cup."

Notable games played by the AMR included one of Rugby's first "Internationals" when the NZMR side played a Scottish XV (52 Division, Lowland Scots) at "Hill 70", after the Battle of Romani August 1916.
After the Armistice both Archie and Pat were selected to represent the NZEF on a tour of the British Isles and France with the New Zealand Team.


DROPPING BY TO VISIT A MATE


photograph Corporal Albert Anderson - circa 1917.

Above: Corporal Albert Anderson takes a photograph of the grave marker of a former comrade in arms, while another mate looks on with their horses.
This was not to be Tom Graham's final resting place. Later he and others who died this day were re-interred at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. The CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) records his resting place as B. 122.

Here lies 11/1258 Trooper Thomas Robert Graham of the 9th East Coast Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles.
Ironically buried here on the flat and arid plain outside of Rafa. He had spent his life until enlistment farming and tending stock in the rugged mountainous country of the North Island's East Coast on the Rototahi Station near Gisborne.
The treeless landscape of the Sinai Desert and Southern Turkish Palestine must have seemed alien to him.
Tom was Killed in Action while he, along with the rest of the NZMR, the Cameliers, English Yeomanry and the Australian Light Horse struggled in a day long battle to take the fortified garrison at Rafa on the 9th January 1917.

W.M.R. casualties:-
Eight killed, four died of wounds, eighteen wounded.
The total losses to the enemy were as follows :-
400 killed (approximately), 162 wounded and collected, 35 officers captured,
1437 other ranks captured: total 2034, which included the following Germans:
One officer, one W.O., and nine other ranks.
Material: Four Krupp mountain guns, seven machine guns, 1610 rifles, 45,000
rounds of small-arms ammunition, 71 belts of small-arms ammunition, 134
pack saddles.
Animals: 83 camels, 19 horses, 35 mules.
Major Wilkie of the Wellington Mounted Rifles was to write of the action in his Official History of the Regiment:
"At Maghdaba there was a suggestion only to withdraw before the position was captured, but at Rafa the G.O.C. of the Desert Corps actually issued orders for the abandonment of the attack and for a withdrawal. He had accepted failure, and the retirement was taking place when the New Zealanders, with characteristic determination, rushed the main enemy position at the point of the bayonet - and won the day."

IN THE HARSH JUDEAN LIGHT

photograph Corporal Albert Anderson - computer colourised.
Full Name: John William Morgan
Surname: Morgan
Serial No.: 13/96
First Known Rank: Trumpeter
Next of Kin: William John Morgan, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Penrose, New Zealand
Military District: Auckland
Body on Embarkation: Main Body
Embarkation Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation: Auckland, New Zealand
Vessel: Star of India or Waimana
Destination: Suez, Egypt

 


Left: Relaxed and casual, Auckland Mounted Rifleman, Company Sergeant-Major Morgan stands outside his bell-tent in the bright Judean sun, 1918.

John Morgan joined the NZMR well before the Great War. His service number reflects his early enlistment - 13/96 (the prefix 13/ representing the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment). Originally holding the rank of Mounted Rifles Trumpeter he rose steadily through the non-commissioned ranks. John left New Zealand with the Main Body and landed at Gallipoli, May 1915.

At this point in time (Apr 16th 2010) we do not have available his service record to fill in all the blanks regarding his movements during WW1.
However the Association must compliment the digitising of service records that "Archives New Zealand" is now posting on the Internet through its "Archway" website. These service folders can contain many pages on each man - and as of today's date 7,095 individual men's files have been added, up over a thousand additional records in the last few months. Unfortunately for us, Warrant Officer second class J. W. Morgan is not included in the on-line library at this stage.

We have two small references about his service, the second reference begs to ask more questions than it answers:-.
In the Official History of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, "The Story of Two Campaigns" on page 262 in the section titled "Wounded Sinai Palestine" is the entry:
13/96 Morgan, J. W., W.O. II., 21.6.1918.
Secondly, in the Auckland Mounted Rifles War Diary covering the date of the 21st June 1918, Diary Reference item number 35/2/37 we find the AMR have been stationed at Bethlehem (El Khudr) from the beginning of the month, and by the 16th the Regiment moves and is biviouaced at Wadi Abeid (map reference square 113.H.3.b.) and the Regiment were still there on the 21st.
Below is an excerpt from the Diary page of the day in question:


Transcription from image reads:

21/6/18 The Regiment stood to at 0330, and remained in bivouvac, 2 Officers & 2 N.C.Os carried out road reconnaissance as for 17/6/18. Working party 2 Officers & 100 O/Rs as for 17/6/18. Lieut H.T. Penryhe-Evans marched in from DESERT MOUNTED CORPS School, Richon. 2/Lt U.S. Innes marched out to N.Z.T.U.&D. ISMALIA.- from ANZAC DIVISIONAL SCHOOL, JERUSALEM. to await embarkation for N.Z. on duty. Lieut H.M. Rorke and 12/O/Rs marched in from N.Z.T.U.&D., ISMALIA. 2/Lt G. Paton evacuated to Hospital. 1 O/Rank accidentally wounded. Shade Temperature 106. [degrees F.]