NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

THE DUNNINGS FROM THE NORTH


Sergeant Pat Dunning - NAMR - photograph circa 1917
computer colourised 2011

Standing center: "Pat" Dunning with some fellow members of the Auckland Mounted Rifles all conquering Rugby team.
No military protocol evident as senior NCO's and Officers join with "Other Ranks" to form a Campaign winning team.
The Official History of the Regiment "The Story of Two Campaigns" records proudly:
"The AMR Football Team, which never had its line crossed: Winners of the Anzac Cup."
Brothers, 13/224 Angus Dunning, commonly known as "Pat" and 62278 Archibald "Archie" Dunning both served with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment during the Great War. Pat sent home numerous photographs to his family during his service, and a long service it was, departing with the Main Body in 1914 and among the last troopers home in 1919.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity of publishing the photographs here due to the generosity of Cheryl Tomich and her extended Dunning Family.

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When looking through the impressive collection of photographs sent home by "Pat" Dunning and his brother Archie Dunning, a first time viewer can be excused for thinking that the "Dunnings World" revolved around sport, and Rugby Union in particular. Many of the photographs are of the men are of or related to the game that both played to a high level, representing both the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment and after the war both the NZMR and the NZEF at competitions in Europe in 1919.
However the cousins were much more service to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles than that - both were competent soldiers.

"Pat" the older of the cousins was a Main Body man and departed with the AMR onboard the "Star of India" from Wellington with the NZEF on the 16th October 1914, bound for the Great War in Europe. While en route Turkey entered the war on the side of the Germans so the fleet was redirected to Egypt to protect the Suez Canal from attack by the Ottoman Empire.


Above: The first communication home. Pat sends a postcard with a photograph of HMNZT 8 the
"S.S. Star of India" on the front steaming out of Wellington Heads on the 16th October 1914.

The Auckland Mounted Rifles WAR DIARY records the promotion of Trooper 13/224 A.R. Dunning to Squadron Signals Corporal the day after the vicious attack on Chunuk Bair on Gallipoli 9th August 1915.
Promotion could be rapid with the thousands of men killed in action each month during the Dardenelles Campaign. The attack of 8th August proved to be the darkest hour for New Zealand troops in the Middle East during World War One.

 

 

More photographs and copy to follow.