NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

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FRIEND AND FOE

Left to right: The Turkish "Liyaka" Medal for Merit. Each award bears the inscription on the reverse: "Medal of Merit Specially for Those Who Have Shown Loyalty and Bravery," The Medals struck during World War One bear a ribbon clasp of crossed sabers with a bar engraved with the year from the Ottoman Calendar 1333 (1915).
Next: The badge of the New Zealand Signal Corps, worn also by signallers with the NZMR Brigade.
Top: "Loyalty" The hat badge of the 17th Light Horse Regiment of Victoria, Australia.
Right: The hat badge of the 11th North Auckland Mounted Rifles, part of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment . "Kia Tupato" - The Maori warning - "Be Prepared" carried on the crest. In 1910 the NAMR Squadron was inspected in Auckland by Lord Kitchener, who was then the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The Squadron landed on Gallipoli under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mackesy 1915.


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.

PORTABLE SHADE-HORSE
Two troopers share a quiet "Smoko" out of the heat of the midday sun - the horse completely at ease at being utilised as a mobile sun-umbrella. At right of picture we can see another trooper also taking advantage of his "Neddy" blocking out the heat of direct sunlight. Obviously a common practice on the plains of Southern Turkish Palestine (circa 1917).

THE SPY WHO LOVED US

I am always surprised by the variety of material that keeps popping up on my desk. This week a truly dilapidated and nearly spineless old book arrived in the post. (20th July - see left)
One of our members (thanks Glenn) had telephoned and said he had purchased this old book in a London second-hand store some years ago called:
"MONS, ANZAC AND KUT" published 1919.

He suggested that we should post it on our site as the author was no other than Aubrey Herbert, one of the great men of the Twentieth Century - A celebrated Intellectual and polyglot who was a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs. Among his friends and colleagues were Mark Sykes, T.E. Lawrence, George Lloyd and John Buchan the celebrated novelist who based his famous spy-master character on Herbert and his extraordinary adventurous life of intrigues and travel.

Aubrey had been afflicted with poor eyesight since childhood and would not have passed any military medical board examination. However another friend, General Alexander Godley, Commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), invited him to join his New Zealanders as Liaison Officer as they prepared to land at Anzac - his intelligence assistance was to prove invaluable, and through his ability to speak a number of languages including Turkish he was able decipher many of the enemy's intentions. He is especially remembered for being able to negotiate a halt in the fighting on the 24th May. The enemy agreed to an eight hour truce on "Walker's Ridge" to allow both sides to bury their dead.

Thanks Glenn you are right - this is an amazing book, and the second section titled "ANZAC" has a special place in New Zealand and Gallipoli history.
Herbert writes with great style and insight - this is a must read book for any scholar of WWI.

I have only included "part II ANZAC" here for download.
Note: George Lloyd mentioned above was to become Lord Llyod the leader of the House of Lords, and not to be confused with Lloyd George the British Prime Minister during WWI.


Aubrey Herbert. Click on the image to download the ANZAC segment. (164 kbs)

AUCKLAND MOUNTED RIFLES - CAMELIER
Second Lieutenant 13/225 Victor Eniel Adolph departed New Zealand with the Main Body on the 16th October 1914 as a corporal with the Aucklanders, served at Gallipoli and afterwards joined the Imperial Camel Corps (I.C.C.) with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
The London Gazette records that Victor received a Military Cross for gallantry: 3 June 1918, p6490: "For distinguished service in connection with military operations in Egypt."
Victor Died of Wounds (DOW) on the 31st March 1918 aged just 23 years and was buried at the Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery - reference C 116.

In his book: "The Cameliers" - Trooper Hogue records the action where Victor Adolph was mortally wounded during the first attack on Amman - 22nd March 1918:

But when our attack developed Abdul had several thousands to oppose us, and more on the way. The demolition project was, however, persisted in. The Cameliers swung round on to the Hedjaz Railway, blew up Kissir Station, some culverts, and five miles of the permanent way.
The Light Horse brushed aside all opposition, and, reaching the line, blew up the main arches of the railway bridge over the wadi. Unfortunately the damage done here was not beyond repair. But the stiff defence put up opposite Amman itself prevented the blowing up of the railway tunnel.

At three in the morning, in the midst of a cold, misty rain, the Cameliers — English, Scotties, and Anzacs — attacked. Creeping up under cover of darkness, they were upon the Turkish trenches before the alarm could be given.
Then with a wild yell the Cameliers threw themselves upon the dazed defenders. There was fierce bayonet work, scores of Turks were killed, and the remainder threw up their hands.
The first line having surrendered, the Cameliers pushed on to the second trench. But this left unguarded a number of Turks and Germans in the front line who had yelled for quarter.
With Teutonic treachery several of these grabbed the rifles they had thrown down and fired on the backs of the men who had spared their lives. In this way was Lieut. Newson killed, one of the most popular officers in the Camel Brigade. Some of the Cameliers, with 'Matt' in the van, charged right on till they reached Amman itself. But their ranks had been thinned, and Turkish reinforcements were still coming up. So they retired to the hill, dug in, and awaited developments.
Then came the get-away.
The Indians working the Camel battery of mountain guns did splendid execution till their ammunition gave out. They swore and tore their hair, as excellent targets presented themselves and not a shell left. The O.C., however, managed to borrow a few rounds from a British battery which came up, and they resumed their work. But the German guns behind the town knew the range to a nicety, and did considerable execution among our ranks. The firing line — New Zealanders, Irish, Scots, English, Indians, and Australians — clung on to the ground they had gained till the demolition parties had finished their job. Then word came for the retirement.
Several hundred prisoners and much munitions had already been sent back to Ghoraniyeh, and the task of evacuating the wounded was proceeding apace. Now if Abdul had been really alive to the situation he might have so harried and hurried our retreat as to make it a ticklish business; but he evidently had not the slightest idea of our movements.
Anticipating another attack, he was feverishly improving his defences, what time our infantry and artillery were quietly tripping back to the Jordan. Without a hitch the army meandered along the mountain tracks in long, snake-like columns, leaving the Anzac Light Horse and the Cameliers to bring up the rear.
For a day or two the Hun 'planes swarmed over Jericho and the Jordan and Shunet Nimrin, reconnoitring our movements, and at times their bombing squadrons heavily bombed our lines. The exact damage done need not be mentioned here, but — as illustrating the luck of the game — it may be told that one bomb landed fair in a bivvy occupied by four officers.
Two were killed outright, the one next them escaped scathless, the fourth had his leg blown off.
So in due course the Flying Column returned to the Plains of Jericho. Our casualties, considering the nature of the expedition, were not numerous. The enemy, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, lost far more heavily. But the Cameliers mourn the loss of Saunderson from Westralia, Newson from England, Adolf, the brilliant footballer, from New Zealand, and several more.
Photographs above of Victor Adolph computer colourised and digitally enhanced.

TUG-O'WAR IN PALESTINE
The commanders of the NZMR made sure their men kept fit, especially in the "rest" areas back from the front-line.
Here a troop of unidentified New Zealanders compete in a mounted version of Tug-O'War.
To make the competition more of strength and skill of the troopers rather than horses, the mounts stand at right angles to the opposing team.
The men have no gloves or saddles and compete barefooted.
Whether this is the victorious team of the day or not, we don't know as the photographs are without notation. However we may be sure that this is the same team as above - the trooper right wears a white rolled up sleeved shirt and his mount has a bandaged left hock.
New Zealanders followed the casual dress sense from home and often worked shirtless and wore shorts. This enabled the men to be continually acclimatized to the desert heat.
British troops on the other hand suffered greatly from sun-burn and were ordered to wear their heavy tunics. Many of their units became redundant due to the many heat-stroke victims through their ranks.
This is the third photograph of the series - the sun is now low in the sky and the day is almost done.
This small group pose for the photographer in the rest area.
The topography suggests this is either Khan Yunis or perhaps further north outside Richon le Zion.

TROOPER "BLUEGUM" REMEMBERS

Australian, Trooper Oliver Hogue wrote "The Cameliers" in 1919. This is a fascinating series of tales told through the eyes of Hogue's altra ego - Trooper Bluegum. A mixture of actual events of the Australians involved with the Imperial Camel Corps (I.C.C.) and a whimsical anecdote of the life of an Australian nurse and a love-lorn sergeant from the Cameliers.
This new Free PDF book download is available by linking with our "Books Download Page HERE"
You will enjoy this read - I was particularly impressed by the insight of Oliver Hogue in his observations on the New Zealanders, especially the efforts of the NZMR during the Desert Campaigns - nice to see the "Maorilanders" getting a good rap
.
Then there is ' Horace', ‘Quack' and 'Kabrit,' ‘Jamestown' and ' John Lobban,' ' Starlight' and ' Scotch Mist,' 'Strychnine' and 'Cyanid,' also 'Bedouin Cheif', 'Joe', 'Gaza' and 'Tom Thumb', 'Sappy', 'Francis' 'Poppy' and 'Bluey" - No these are not Aussie Cameliers nicknames but the names of the camels themselves.


THE ENEMY ON HIGH

Trooper Busby on first glance is a little difficult to see as he lies on his back aiming and firing the Vickers Machine Gun at an enemy aircraft at high altitude.
This photograph was taken by fellow Machine Gunner Sergeant Martin Eccles of the 5th reinforcements WMR - which is Inscribed - Verso - centre: "Firing at an enemy aeroplane. Busby firing the gun and Glendenning feeding the belt. That is the job I do now, but on another gun."
Busby is possibly 11/212 James Busby from Waipiro Bay, also a member of the WMR and the NZMGS.
Glendenning is probably Lance Corporal 11/804a James Jackson Glendenning of Whangamomona in the Wellington District and a specialist with the NZMGS.
James Glendenning was later Killed in Action at the engagement of Ayun Kara - 14th November 1917. According to the Official History, James was first buried one mile south-west of Ayun Kara, but was later re interned at the CWGC Military Cemetery at Ramelh. Grave reference M.27.
photograph taken by 11/1145 Sergeant Martin Eccles -NZMGS

BUT WAIT!
A recent book publication titled "Images of War - World War One: A Photographic Record of New Zealanders at War, 1914-1918", compiled Glyn Harper - (Harper Collins NZ -available Whitcoulls) is a beautifully presented book with startling images of New Zealanders at war. There is a comprehensive section relating to the NZMR which also includes the above photograph.
Unfortunately the caption with the photograph offers three different names to the two I have posted. This publication does not acknowledge any photographer, but states in its caption that the source for the image is the "National Military Museum". This caption infers too that by giving only three names that there are only three men in the photograph, when on inspection there are four. So there is debate here, which would be nice to solve.
Our own NZMR source for the information we posted above is from the "The Martin Ashton Eccles Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library."
View this photograph and others in the Eccles Collection at "Timeframes" HERE. (enter: The Martin Ashton Eccles Collection in the "Search box", click "All Words")