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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


Comments from Webmaster Steve Butler ■ Email contact

ENTERING COLOMBO HARBOUR

photograph Jack Russell Collection - taken 7th March 1917.

From the deck of the "Morea", 30467 Trooper James Russell takes this photograph of the Colombo Harbour Pilot Station. James departed New Zealand with the 21st Reinforcements NZMR on the 8th February 1917. After crossing the Tasman Sea on the HMNZT "Manuka" he and the rest of the Reinforcements were transferred onto the Morea at Sydney. This detachment was then sent by an unusual route via Melbourne, Adelaide, Freemantle, Colombo and then onto Bombay in India, where again the 21st was re-berthed on the "Mashobra" for the final leg to Suez.
James took two albums of photographs during the war and our President Greg Bradley has been posting a page from the albums each month. The story in pictures of James Russell has begun. Start at:
August, September, October 1916. and then continue each parallel month. Enjoy the journey.
November 1916
January 1917 In camp
February 1917 the 21st Reinforcements Departs.
This month - March 1917 - at sea Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Freemantle and Colombo.



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.

A FAMILY AFFAIR
Probably Trooper Ralph Martin, second from the left. photograph Alastair Martin.
Members of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles assemble in line abreast during a training exercise in New Zealand.
Image probably taken in the 1920's - 30's between the world wars.
It appears that Ex-Nam Vet Alastair Martin's family are of a true military bent, with members from all generations having served in New Zealand's Armed Forces.
An informative email arrived with this striking photo: (Mar 3rd 2010)
Only recently stumbled across your site when researching my Great Uncle Thomas Foulkes who served at ANZAC with CMR.
One thing led to another, memory bells started to ring, and after digging through my boxes in the garage I relocated what I believe are bits and pieces of my late Fathers service with the Mounted Rifles.
..........an ammunition bandoleer
..........Cap badge CYC
..........Photo as per attached.
I am of the opinion that my father is the second Trooper from the left, front row. All that is on the reverse of the photo is his name....R Martin. I am forwarding the photo more for your records sake, as it may be of use and / or interest to you and I believe it would of been taken late 20's early 30's ?, but also you in the hope that might have some historical records of the CYC which might enable me to find out a bit more of my fathers service. His full name was Ralph Stanley Martin, and the family had a property at Seafield near Ashburton. He later served in WW11, initially with the Engineers, and eventually with the 19th Armoured Regt.
For a bit of further background my Grandfather served with the NZMR during the Boer War, Farrier 1630 Alexander Ferguson, 5th Contingent, but had prior service with, it looks like "Nasby Rifles" on the copy of service record I hold. While I am now residing in Australia, I also served with W Coy RNZIR, in 2RAR/NZ ANZAC Bn and 4RAR/NZ ANZAC Bn in Vietnam.
 
Kind Regards
Alastair Martin

Alastair lives in Queensland, Australia. His address and contact details held on file. Please let me know if we are able to gather any information on Trooper Ralph Stanley Martin through my email contact at the top of the page. I have searched the Cenotaph Database to no avail.


Trooper Fred Foote's photographs have created a great following. In the last few weeks over nine thousand visits have been made by the public to his photographic page.
Besides the many photos that Fred captured, he also spent a great deal of time recording his thoughts about the Great War and his part in it. Today we begin with transcriptions from Fred's notes. We intend developing his story with still other photographs that have not yet been seen by the public before.
Once again the Association is in debt to Fred's daughter, Judith Brown, for allowing us to present this comprehensive account of her Father's war.
Part One - "The Folly of Old Men".
Part Two - "On to Egypt".


TEN DAYS IN THE LIFE OF THE CANTERBURY MOUNTED RIFLES
After the fall of Beersheba October on 31st and the attack at Khuweilpeh where the Canterbury Mounted Rifles again saw heavy action a few days later. Adjutant, Captain Herbert Basil Hinson's records events of the CMR's next few days in his rather ho-hum, matter-of-fact reporting in the Regimental war diary.
This ten day period of time marks the greatest advance over territory in combat conditions during the Palestine Campaign. From Beersheba in the Southeast to Jaffa on the Mediterranean Coast in the West.
Interestingly the stiff CMR action at Ayun Kara is recorded only as:
"Held the same line all day and took up outpost line on the same ground at night."
Of importance in this recently released document is the map reference of the Canterbury Regiments advance position during this action at Ayun Kara as: "13d - V9a".
The Canterburys holding of this important anchor point prevented any encirclement riposte by Turkish Forces and allowed the Aucklanders and Wellingtons to apply the knockout blows from the left flank.
I know this grid point will be of interest to the technical historians amongst us - (and to the war-gamers!)

Unfortunately Captain Hinson was not to survive the war, and succumbed to wounds received during the advance on Amman four months later.
CMR Regiment War Diary #4-35-3-26 (placed Feb 26th 2010)
Full Name: Captain Heber Basil Hinson
Also Known As: Hebert Basil Hinson
Serial No.: 18221
Unit Served: Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Place of Death: Palestine
Date of Death: 30 March 1918
Age at Death: 24
Cause of Death: Died of wounds
Cemetery Name: Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria
Grave Reference: C. 115.
Biographical Notes: Son of Stanley and Amy Hinson, of Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, New Zealand. Graduate of the Military College, Duntroon, Australia
Description of Image: Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1918
Additional Information: Listed as Herbert by CWGC


Stats courtesy Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database


TO GALLIPOLI AND BACK

Left: "Jack" Foster photographed attending a Auckland Mounted Rifles reunion outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum circa 1965.

Right: Half a century earlier, "Staff" Foster mounted on a camel touring the Pyramids, Cairo 1914 - early 1915.
This photograph is typical of the images sent home to families once the men made the long journey across the globe to the Middle East. Within a few months Jack would be wounded on Gallipoli.
Jack wears the older 1914 pattern bandolier which dates this picture.


Photograph: Egypt 1914 -15. (Bryan Calder Collection.)

Thanks to Bryan Calder who was eagle-eyed enough to spot his grandfather in the AMR-Reunion photo we have posted on the site. He was kind enough to notify the Association and to send in a further photo of "Jack" in front of the Sphinx taken before the Brigade was sent to Gallipoli in May 1915.
Jack was a member of the 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles Squadron part of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment. He left with the Main Body at the beginning of hostilities in October 1914.

In the book, the official history of the AMR "The Story of Two Campaigns", casualty records for Gallipoli on page 256 state:
13/326 Staff Quartermaster Sergeant (SQMS) wounded on Gallipoli 31st May 1915.

Full Name:

William John Foster

Serial No.:

13/326

First Known Rank:

Staff Quartermaster Sergeant

Next of Kin:

J.H. Foster, Te Akatea, via Ngaruawahia, New Zealand

Marital Status:

Single

Enlistment Address:

Te Akatea, 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

Stats courtesy Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database

"ONE OF OUR OUTPOSTS"

photograph: Trooper Fred Foote - 1917.
Probing deep into enemy territory the highly mobile mounted forces of the English Yeomanry and the Anzac troops from the Australian Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles pushed and searched for the enemy across great tracts of hostile desert and scrub.
Above: Signaller Trooper Fred Foote records a section of the Auckland Mounted Rifles as they clean up after breakfast and let the horses have a nose-bag of feed before their small advance party prepares to move forward. These "Listening Posts" endeavoured to keep a steady eye on enemy movements. However in advancing in such small groups the fear of ambush was always in the back of the men's minds. It was not a job for the faint of heart.

In his best selling book "The Desert Column", 5th Light Horseman Ion Idriess recalls:
"...We were wondering where the hell the regiment was when Jack Meiklejohn’s horse knocked up. We halted, and immediately heard the hum of voices away on the other side of a black razorback. We started clambering up. "Halt!" sharp and decisive in the stilly dawn. The New Zealand outpost, muffled giants in their greatcoats, were suspicious and seemed rather ready with the bayonet, but we urgently made ourselves known and they pointed down in the gloom to where the regiment was just moving out. The En Zeds grimly told us that the artillery road we had been following led directly to Bir-el-Abd and the Turks only three miles farther on!"

OTAGO SON REMEMBERED

photograph: Ira Evans, computer colourised, circa 1915.
The Battle of the Somme in Europe opened on July 1st, 1916, while the New Zealand Division was at Armentières; and by the time the Division arrived on the battlefield the enemy's defences had been penetrated to a maximum depth of about four miles, on a front of about twenty miles.
The advantages gained on the 1st and developed during the first half of the month were considered as having been stalemated after those two weeks.
Thousands lay dead, including 9/2065 Ira Rubel Evans, a former Otago Mounted Rifleman absorbed into the NZ Rifle Brigade. Ira was Killed in Action "in a botched trench raid" carried out by the Otago Battalion on the 14th July.
Photograph above: Ira Evans is seen here wearing a D10 (Otago Mounted Rifles 10th reinforcements) cap badge with rearing horse collar badges.
email received 12th March 2010.
Dear Mr Butler,
What a joy to find a photo of my great grandmother's nephew on your site. I knew he was killed in France but to have a photo of him has made my day. Keep up your good work. Kind regards,
Barbara Price

LAYING FIELD TELEPHONE

photograph: Sergeant Jack Peat - Auckland War Memorial Museum
"Laying Field Telephone", these two photographs from the many images held by The Auckland War Memorial from Sergeant John "Jack" Peat's collection. Jack sailed from Wellington on the "Manuka" 29th July 1915 with the New Zealand Mounted Field Ambulance.
Because his services involved supporting different units during the campaigns, Jack was able to photograph many of these groups in the field. The two photographs here appear to be Cameliers laying cable across the desert. However this may well be English Engineers involved with this Camel team. Of special note is the wide, high walled wooden wheels on the cart that help prevent the wheels rutting down into the fine sand. The mounted Camelier riding in support carries his 303 rifle in a high scabbard attached to the rear of the saddle.
3/829 Sergeant John Trevor Peat saw action in Palestine and Syria and he was Mentioned in Dispatches (MiD), Gazetted, 1st December 1916, p11808.
Jack Died of Disease (DOD) 17th November 1918, aged 26, and is buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt - E218.
Jack was a Dargaville man from North Auckland.

photograph Sergeant Jack Peat - Auckland War Memorial Museum.