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WAIKATO MEN STRONG AND TRUE
Second Lieutenant Morris James Milliken proudly sits with his men from the 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles in another photograph from the recently obtained "Shepherd Collection" lent for duplication by Margaret Shepherd of Takapuna.
Although this photograph was on the front of a Post Card sent home from Egypt by Trooper Jack Shepherd to his family the card has no date. We can however be certain that this image of the men is taken during training in Egypt between December 1914 and April 1915, as many of the men pictured here were killed or wounded in the following months on Gallipoli. Among those killed was Morris Milliken during the disastouros attack to capture the heights on August 8th 1915.
Again we are fortunate that Jack Shepherd wrote down the names of the men on the reverse of the post card - I know this will be of great interest to the geneologists among our members who search for records of family members, as it is not often we get bothe a name and a photographe together.
Jack writes on the reverse:
F.Levey., Sgt Hill., Chaytor., Bigg Wither., G. Brettelhiem., V. Gillanders., S. Snowden., C.F. Wayne., W. Willoughby., Sgt. Jurd.
2nd Row: Sgt. Holden., Robinson., [space left here for next name but left blank]., [next name could be Pullerton]., C. Gillanders., W. Bennett.
F/R [Front Row]: Shorty., A. Kent., A. Wild., E. Meyers., Lt. Milliken., J. Drabble., A. Smith., W. [Jack] Shepherd., R.M.S. [Regimental Sgt-Major] Foster.



SITE MAP

 


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






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








NZMR 24th
Reinforcements Badge.

LATEST WORLD NEWS BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF THE CURSE OF THE JORDAN VALLEY - "JERICHO BUTTONS"


(3rd July 08) "International Community Praises Rescue of 15 Hostages in Colombia."
As headlines blazed around the world this week of the dramatic helicopter rescue of hostages grabbed from their guerilla captors deep in the jungles of Columbia, it was interesting to note that two of the American construction workers among the hostages were keen to be repatriated quickly. The men wished to return to the United States for treatment of Leishmaniasis Disease.
The mention of this disfiguring disease caused by Protozoan Parasites that come from infected female sand flies and passed on to humans, during blood feeds, brings to mind the outbreak of the infection in 1917 as troops advanced against the enemy in Turkish Palestine in WWI.
Obviously the outbreaks of Malaria and influenza killed many men, but the horrible skin sores created by Leishmaniasis that ate into the flesh was of great concern - the parasite raised red raw flesh and resulting pockmarked sores that were a major cause of distress, and often the disease appeared inside the nose and mouth. Some men died with complications when the disease, known by the troops as Jericho Buttons, transferred to liver or other organs. However many recovered as their body's immune system killed off the parasite - but even today there is no vaccine to control the parasite, and the disease is widespread in many tropical and sub-tropical countries across the globe. A worry too for climate change, as the increase in temperatures has meant the spread of the disease, which has recently been recorded in areas of Texas.
More recently US Forces are experiencing a new outbreak amongst their troops in Iraq. In the years 2003-2004 some 650 soldiers contacted the disease and many thousands of locals were also infected. The troops nick-naming the scourge "Baghdad Boils".

"Jericho Buttons" disfigured many during an outbreak in the Jordan Valley in 1917.

Recent outbreaks in Iraq.
These healed scars of "Baghdad Boils" could be considered a mild case.

General Allenby marches past an honour guard of Auckland Mounted Riflemen to enter Jerusalem on foot.
A detachment of Auckland Mounted Riflemen present arms as victorious General Allenby enters Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate after the city surrendered December 1917. In recognition that Jerusalem represented the centre of the world's three major religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Allenby elected to enter the city on foot in reverence to those faiths.
New Zealand and Australian mounted troops were given the honour of bearing arms up to the gates of the city.
The white and shaded oblongs attached on the sides of the puggarees around the soldiers hats show that the men are members of the AMR.

Advance to Egypt
camel commander
Commander of the Turkish Camel Force in Sinai, Sureya Bey sits with folded arms at a camp table during the advance to take the Suez Canal 1916. Members of his staff surround him while pickets are posted about the camp.
Sureya Bey was killed during the Anzac Mounted attack on Katia, August 1916

THE PRIZE DRAWS EVER CLOSER

1917 photograph taken from the routed Turkish trenches atop of Nebi Samuel overlooking the road into Jerusalem - From this high vantage point the Anzacs have their first views of the ancient city of David. On the distant horizon across the rocky barren landscape the "Augusta Victoria", the massive "show piece" German Protestant centre built by the Kaiser in 1907 that includes the Evangelical Lutheran Church with a 65-meter bell tower and a hospice for Christian pilgrims, is clearly recognised in the far distance left of centre.
In the foreground empty food and munitions boxes sit in a traverse section of trench workings that stretches along the length of Nebi Samuel - A landscape devoid of vegetation provided little cover for the advancing forces.
Jerusalem surrendered 9th December 1917 - The Ottoman Turkish Empire relinquishing control of the Holy city after more than 600 years of occupation.


The defense and riposte attack at Abu Tellul

The Wellington Mounted Rifles became the key element in the eventual success over German and Turkish forces that attacked a defensive perimeter dug in at ABU TELLUL near Jericho on the 13th July 1918. Australian Light Horsemen survived intensive artillery bombardment before being engaged in close quarter fighting by a numerically superior force - as the German force penetrated deeper into the centre of the line the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade swung out on a "Left Hook" trapping the enemy in a pocket. Large numbers of Turkish troops left the scene of battle before the door was fully closed shut but the majority of the German force was either captured or killed.

More research needed- but already Steve Becker has written in and states references:
"Some 425 men were taken prisoner of which 358 were germans. (AOWH page 669) or 448 of which 377 were German (BOWH page 433 vol 2) from the 702 Bn, 703 Bn, and one Company 11 jagar Bn, and one Company 146 Regt of the German Asia Corps."

Above: A guard of New Zealand Mounted Riflemen lead the first of the German troops captured in the action of Abu Tellul through the streets of Jerusalem. - I have a number of photographs from this action and intend to produce an in-depth page shortly - MEANWHILE- click on the image above to DOWNLOAD the amazing map drawn at the time by Sergeant Otho Hewett. This 1:40,000 ratio military map is more than an overview of a battlefield - it is truly a piece of art.
Note: download 732kb.




A Photographic Display of Mounted Rifles Headstones on the Island of Malta.

An Australian, a Englishman and a New Zealander lie together forever in a communal grave beneath this marble slab on the tranquil Island of Malta.

R.F. Ramsay of the Australian Infantry, M.H. Bythway of the Royal Naval Air Service and New Zealand Mounted Rifleman, Lance Corporal Clifford Kossuth Robinson of the 6th Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles were interned together after failing to convalesce on Malta during the Gallipoli Campaign.
Although some soldiers from the Gallipoli Campaign are buried separately, most are interned three to a grave in the CWGC cemetery's on the Island.
Men struck down with disease and the wounded were shipped from the battlefields to hospitals on Lemnos, the more serious cases went on to Cairo, Malta or England. Many men did not make the hospitals after the tortuous evacuation from the Dardenelles and died on board hospital ships and were buried at sea.

Well over a year ago Wayne Saillard, a NZMR member and ex-pat Australian living on the Island of Malta, sent down a collection of photographs that I have posted HERE today (finally wayne, june 3 08).