Comments from Steve Butler ■ Email contact

Photo Trooper Kingston Hull circa 1917
Riding two abreast along a narrow valley track, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade advances over the rocky terrain of Turkish Palestine late 1917 or 1918. The actual date of this photograph is unknown and unfortunately the quality of the small sized print is poor, the focus of the picture on the outer rim is blurred, suggesting the camera used was a small "bottle-top" lens of the kodak cameras available to the troops at that time. It is moments like these that we see the folly of not sending professional New Zealand reporters to cover the events that our troops were involved in - Oh for a professional cameraman.
In the expanded image it is impossible to see the end of the column as the riders disappear from view snaking away along the valley floor.
To understand the cost to a small country of just on a million people to put these men, horses and support into a military campaign so far from home was an enormous undertaking, and considering that these men here were but a fraction of our nations contribution of men at arms. Indeed it is something we can be justifiably proud of today.
March 1st 2013


2013 January


May 1st 2012
April 1st 2012
March 2nd 2012
February 1st 2012
January 4th 2012
December 1st 2011
November 1st 2011
October 2nd 2011
September 3rd 2011
August 9th 2011
July 1st 2011
June 1st 2011
May 2nd 2011
April 4th 2011
March 2nd 2011
February 4th 2011
January 5th 2011
December 8th 2010
November 9th 2010
October 11th 2010
September 10th 2010
August 17th 2010
July 11th 2010
June 17th 2010
May 25th 2010

May 5th 2010
April 15th 2010

March 24th 2010

March 5th 2010
February 15th 2010

January 28th 2010
January 11th 2010
December 15th 2009

December 1st 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009
March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007

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.








Scattered loosely in the back binding of one of Trooper Kingston Hull's photo albums are a number of, seemingly, hastily ripped out images of soldiers "Killed in Action" during the Great War. These three above are all members of the 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles, but many are from other military units. However after reading the obituaries of these men the common thread between them is the farming area of Waiuku, South of Auckland.
These men are all friends of Kingston, and it is not hard to believe the anger he would have felt tearing the images of his mates from the newspapers, as each month more of his friends would never again return home.
Above: Lance Corporal 13/2242 Richard Renall, Killed in Action (KIA) 28th March 1918. awarded the Military Medal (MM). London Gazette, 2 April 1918, p4023: For bravery in the field. Richard wears the collar dogs of the Machine Gun Squadron attached to the NZMR. His Cenotaph record is HERE
The officer in the center wears the hat badge of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and it is a strong probability that this man is Kingston Hull's commanding officer; 13/2510 Captain Maxwell Aldred. Unfortunately the Cenotaph database does not have a photograph on its site to compare a likeness, however the service record states that Maxwell's enlistment address was Waiuku and that he was also a member of the 8th Reinforcements that departed Wellington on the 13th November 1915

The above paragraph was inserted in the original posting, however subsequent research and findings of photographs from the "Auckland Weekly News" show this man is in fact: Trooper Francis Leopold Flavell, KIA Ayun Kara, 14th November 1917 (see next updates page)

Trooper 13/1084 Walter Pulman of the 5th Reinforcements AMR, Died of Wounds (DOW) on the 17th November 1917 and is buried at the CWGC Ramleh, Israel. Walter received his fatal wounds during the Action of Ayun Kara, 14th November 1917. His Cenotaph record is HERE

Further Updates:
This photograph arrived from Johnathan Paynter 28th Feb 2013.
E-mail reads:

"Looking at your updates here is a scan of my photograph of Lance Corporal 13/2242 Richard Renall with a mate of his.

Regards Jonathan."

E-mail from John Winter on the 21st Feb reads:

"Checked the military file of LCpl Reynell
He was awarded his MM for bravery in the field at Ayun Kara while with the MGS
By the time his father was advised of the award, he was dead, being killed by sniper fire at the 1st battle of Amman

The officiating officer at his burial was Lt Walter Cobb, MGS who had achieved great deeds as a machine gunner on Gallipoli

As always the Association would appreciate any further information on these men. It is obvious that this particular image was used to crop and insert in the newspaper on Richard's death.


photograph Kingston Hull Family Collection - 29th October 1917 -duotone treatment NZMRA 2013
Kingston Hull writes on the front of this photo: "Feeding up, during a halt 29/10/17"
On the obverse he writes: "Our section feeding during the start to envelop Beersheba. - From left to right - Ted Davies, K Hull, A Robins, Billy Williams."

Note: Trooper A. Robins mentioned above was 13/1087 Trooper Arthur Henry Robins of the 5th Reinforcements, 3rd Auckland Mounded Rifles Squadron. Arthur came from Trafalgar Street, Onehunga. 16 days after this photo was taken he fell seriously wounded during the "Action of Ayun Kara". Arthur was transported home by hospital ship but was to die of his wounds on the 29th November 1919, aged 25 years.
A photo and copy item on Arthur is recorded on our site HERE
The Cenotaph Database of the Auckland War Memorial Museum holds his service record HERE

Ted Davies is 13/2554 Trooper Edward Bently Davies, 8th Reinforcements.
K Hull is 13/2520 Trooper John Kingston Hull, 8th Reinforcements.
Billy Williams is 13/971 Lance Corporal William Thomas Williams, 4th Reinforcements.
Of interest is the fact that Billy died on the 14th November 1966, aged 71, exactly 49 years to the day that his friend fell at Ayun Kara.

The Brigade rests at Kalasa as the troops prepare for the right hook movement out of the Sinai Desert for the attack on the Turkish Southern outpost and railway head at Beersheba. Of this day Lieutenant Colonel James McCarroll writes:
29th  October 1917
Fritz came but our planes chased him, we tucked into all the hollows we could find and no movements by day.
On to Beersheba. Moved at night to Aslug and again scattered about among the small hills.  We saw the railway the Germans had built and we destroyed some good station buildings.
The next day he writes:

30th October 1917
We moved off at 1430 [note: time hard to read and debatable].  A starting point was found and each unit came in like the spokes of a wheel and formed in place – it was a great sight.
We moved off in three columns.  Wheeled units on the road, New Zealand and Australian [Division] on the right and Aussie Division on the left.  Never before had such a force moved off.  We were now south of Beersheba – we are to have a business interlude with the Turk tomorrow.  We carried two days rations for men and horses on the wagons.  So with water available for horses we could last four days.  Never before had the moon looked down on such a force in size and brightness, everyone was in great spirits.  We would have sung if we were allowed.  At every halt we lay down with our horses and slept.
We had to cross some very soft ground, result of previous rain, considerable area of cultivated land.  We were to halt at 2400 for two hours, so we had something to eat and a sleep.  I went along the Regiment, the whole force was asleep except a horse blowing something out of his nose – not another sound.

Note: For this attack on Beersheba General Chaytor issues each regiment with coloured flashes for the troops to wear on the pugarees of their hats. In this image the "White, Red, White" flash of the Auckland Mounted Rifles can be seen on the men's hats.


Auckland Mounted Riflemen and brothers, Kingston (left) and Burton Hull.

The Hull brothers both served in the Middle East during the second campaign of WW1. Kingston in both the Sinai Desert and in Turkish Palestine from 1916 to 1919, while his brother Burton arrived later with the 34th Reinforcements. He was to serve in the latter events carried out by the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment in actions East and North of Jerusalem.
Interestingly both brothers departed New Zealand on the 13th November, although two years to the day apart.

The image at left is a studio portrait photograph embossed with the studio name and underneath "Cairo".
Considering Burton's troopship HMNZT Tofua did not arrive into Suez until the 21st December 1917 the trip the brothers made to the studio would not have been likely before January 1918.
It is curious to note that Kingston wears his hat in the old-fashioned "Slouch-hat" style, a style that was stopped before the Main Body arrived in Egypt in 1914.
Without the embossed "Cairo" stamped on the front I would have put this photo taken prior to Kingston departure in 1915. Also noted is his departure rank of corporal and the obvious lack of that rank showing here. On the other hand there certainly seems to be a campaign ribbon above his left pocket? - comments would be welcome.

Comment from John Winter:

Thanks for uploading the Hull brothers photo

The medal ribbon on Kingston is his MM. from his letters he was wearing it from August 1917 even though the London Gazette didn't report it till december 1917

Cheers John

Full Name: John Kingston Hull
Forename(s): John Kingston
Surname: Hull
War: World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No.: 13/2520
First Known Rank: Corporal
Next of Kin: G.G. Hull (father), Otana, Waiuku, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Otaua, Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
Military District: Auckland
Body on Embarkation: 8th Reinforcements
Embarkation Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 13 November 1915
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Willochra or Tofua
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Page on Nominal Roll: 349
Full Name: George Burton Hull
Forename(s): George Burton
Surname: Hull
War: World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No.: 58208
First Known Rank: Trooper
Occupation before Enlistment: Farmer
Next of Kin: G.G. Hull (father), Otaua, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit: 34th Reinforcements Mounted Rifles Brigade
Embarkation Date: 13 November 1917
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Tofua
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Page on Nominal Roll: 14


This week a comprehensive collection of photographs and letters arrived on my desk via John Winter and the Hull family of Nelson. The collection that I will have a great deal of pleasure presenting for you is from 13/2520 Trooper John Kingston Hull, who departed New Zealand with the 8th Reinforcements in November 1915. Kingstone, as he was most readily referred to by his comrades, was to receive the M.M. (Militry Medal) for his galantry while serving in the Middle East.
A momento he brought home and was held in the back binding of one of the albums is a German Postcard, or more correctly a "liebesglück" or Love Happiness, or Love Card from a young woman named Martha sent to her soldier love so far-away.
The importance of contact from home was understood by all, and shipment of mail from home to the troops on the Front was a priority of every nation.
How this postcard came into the pocession of Kingston will most likely remain a mystery, unless there is a mention in one of his letters I have yet to read. The hand written note on the reverse of the card is in a beautiful script, but much of the ink has faded making reading her message virtually impossible.

Romantically printed on the front of the card:
"draußen auf grüner Au blühen viel Blume In blau, Blühen Vergißmeinnicht, bis man sie- bricht."
The young woman asks of her lover:
"While you live in the great outdoors of green and flowers blue, do not forget me."


A further image from James Russell's collection of photographs, and comment by Greg of the expanded photo:

"Thanks for the latest update picture of the 21st Reinforcements. I don't think Trooper Russell took the picture as he appears standing 4th from the left. I believe this picture was taken at Papawai Camp or Featherston Camp prior to departure. Note the instructors in the peak caps."
- President Greg Bradley NZMRA.
February 7th 2013

Using your FACEBOOK ID listed below, we welcome comments relating to any subject on this page.