Comments from Webmaster Steve Butler ■ Email contact


A set of three rather amusing scenes captured by the camera of Sergeant Jack Peat NZMC.
In his position as an N.C.O. serving in the Mounted Medical Corps in the Middle East, Jack was moved about a great deal supporting the different units in the field. In his travels he photographed scores of various topics, from battlefields and bivviys, ambulance columns, the Somerset Battery, ICC, but mainly members of the NZMR. His shots are a mixture of work and play and give a great insight to life during the First World War in the Middle East.

Top: Members of the Australian Light Horse catching a lift back from the forward line for a bit of leave.
The small locomotive used to shunt sleepers and railway ties to the ever advancing rail head puts its empty cars to good use for the return journey.

Middle: Titled simply "Beer"

Bottom: Wide brimmed felt hats and Woresley Pattern Helmets distinguish these men as members of the NZMR and the NZMC (New Zealand Medical Corps), out for a tourist ride on local donkeys and camel.

3/829 Sergeant John (Jack) Peat departed with the "Manuka" Ambulance detail onboard the S.S. Manuka on the 29th July 1915. He was MID and Gazetted 1st December 1916 from a dispatch by General Alexander Murray.
He served in the Mounted Field Ambulance through the hostilities, unfortunately Jack died of disease just seven days after the Armistice was signed on 17th November 1918. He was 26 years old.
Jack came from Dargaville and was single, he is buried at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt - grave reference E218 .

Three Photographs: Sergeant Jack Peat - Auckland War Memorial Museum



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.


Above: a section of the photograph taken by F.J. Denton, a photographer from Wanganui - pre departure to war, circa 1914.
Second Row: Sgt. Jago (of Jago's Post fame), Cpl Burson, Sgt. W.E. Morgan, Lt. Risk, Lt. James.
Front Row: K McDonald, A. Alcock, R. Blackbourne.

Affectionately nicknamed the "Well and Trulies" by their Australian Light Horse contemporaries, the Wellington Mounted Rifles were made up from three regiments. Photographed here are the Officers and men of the QAMR (Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles) assembled under their banner of the Regimental Guidon.

You never know what Greg Bradley, (our NZMRA President and Collections Officer at the Bull's Museum) has hidden away down there in Rangitikei. A discussion on our Forum regarding this photograph of the QAMR men has led Greg to send me up a rather large format of the photograph to see if I can "squeeze" it down a bit to load it onto the site. To do so, I have had to remove the colour from the sample, but considering the original would have been a black and white image, I don't think that takes anything away. Also I have cropped out the title and the names to greatly reduce the size.
You may view the full complement of men HERE - note this larger file is 395 kbs.

Back Row: B. Dean, W. Watt, C. Campion, F. Bailey, M. Beal
Forth Row: Cpl Little, G. Seaton, G. McClean, Cpl Addenbrooke, H.J. James, L.R. Badderley, H. Addenbrooke, ? Burnett, F. Corrie, W.C. Morgan, F. Badderley, W. Bason, J. Moore, H. Thopson, S. Sommerville, T. Wilson, Cpl C. Lynch, C. Rive
Third Row: Tpr D. Ross, LCpl King, Tpr F. Robinson, C. Baldwin, R. Mason, H. Battes, S. Major, R. Gray, Cpl G. Patterson, Buglar Gilmore, Tpr C. Hammond, G. Abercrombie, J. Ansell, J. Lynch, L. Lynch, W. McWilliam, L. Simpson
Second Row: Sgt K. Howie, Sgt Jago, Cpl Burson, Sgt W.E. Morgan, Lt Risk, Lt James, Major Edgar, Major Elmslie, Lt J. Sommerville, Sgt Major Dunham, Sgt Pye-Smith, Cpl P. Fletcher, Tpr W. H. Smith
Front Row: K. McDonald, A. Alcock, R. Blackbourne, Lt W.M. Janson, K. Langlands, S.J. Morgan, L. Fitzmaurice, F. Capon.

Records held in Richon Le Zion (now in modern day Israel) show that even after defeating the Turkish 3rd Division at their defensive line at Ayun Kara on the 14th November 1917 there was to be no break in harassing the enemy. Above, orders handed down by NZMR General "Bill" Meldrum also gives a clear insight that the New Zealand Command would not tolerate any nonsense when it came to interfering with the local population.
A list of horse watering times indicates the Brigade is about to move out. Indeed, these typed routine orders were well out of date before they had left the hand of Staff Officer, Brigade Major, Stephen Nicholls - Six miles to the North, at 9am on the 16th November, the Wellington Mounted Rifles had entered the vacated port city of Jaffa to take over the Town Hall as Brigade Headquarters. The NZMR had moved before the ink had dried.

Firstly - commendations on the site. Fabulous effort.
1 small errata I noticed. In the CYC/Canterbury Mounted Rifles Section: the photo of the officers departing - is Frank Davison (Machine Gun Section), not 'Davidson'.
Many thanks, Richard.
Thanks Richard, this is such an important email to receive.
In the quest to keep the history of the NZMR Brigade alive, we MUST keep it accurate. I know you may well have hesitated in sending in your observation. However such contact by members and interested members of the public keeps everyone on their toes. Yes, I had made a 'Typo' in publishing Frank Davison's name as 'Davidson' - I have changed the paragraph today (14th October) with the correct spelling.
Therefore to others I ask - Please contact me on the email above to solve any mistakes you see on the site - in this case it was the spelling of a man's name, and I consider this the most important issue to get right - it is so easy to misspell names.
On the other hand there is a number of issues of spellings that I hope the general public will understand as being a bit beyond my control. Certainly I have had comments from our American Cousins regarding spellings, but I am sorry, you will have to accept that many spellings have been inherited from the British, especially in articles reprinted here from the First World War of 1914.
More importantly - to the man in question:

Anzac, Gallipoli, August 1915. The British High Command decide to make a breakout from the four month stalemate they had been forced to endure. A plan is hatched to co-ordinate an attack with the landings of more troops at Suvla Bay a few miles to the north of Anzac Cove.
The NZMR Brigade is to spearhead the attack to take the high ground of Chunuk Bair - the attack is to start on the 7th August.
Below an excerpt from Colonel Powles book - "The History of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles".(full text of book available HERE.)

The Regiment advanced with two squadrons abreast—the 1st and 10th, and the 8th in support with the machine guns and a platoon of Maoris. Slightly ahead of the leading troops went a few scouts. A piquet of four Turks was met, and a fight with the bayonet ensued, four men to four, neither side firing a shot. One of the Canterbury men was wounded in the jaw and another in the chest; but all the Turks were killed. A few stray bullets were flying; then by some mischance a searchlight from one of the ships flashed across the squadrons and was gone. But the damage was done. A machine gun on Walden Point opened fire, and heavy rifle fire came from Wilson's Knob. A silent rush across the two hundred yards of flat, then up the scrubby spur and into the enemy trench charged the 10th squadron. Simultaneously the 1st had pushed through the narrow pass separating Walden Point, from the end of Beauchop Hill, and thence charged at the gun from its rear. Magazines and rifles were empty, and it was easy for the Turks to shoot them as they climbed the hill, but every man, keeping to his orders, fired no shot and raised no cheer. The enemy could not tell from what quarter any part of this silent attack was coming, and the machine gun was rushed, the Turks near it being bayoneted. Swinging right handed through a small scrubby gully the Canterburys turned inland and advanced in silence up the northern edge of Beauchop Hill.
During the rush on the gun Colonel Findlay was wounded, but so well had he explained his plans, and such was the keenness of every man in the Regiment, that the most difficult of operations—changing direction in the dark when in. contact with the enemy—was successfully carried out, and trench after trench was rushed almost without sound, the enemy's garrisons being utterly confused by these tactics.

Image from newspaper cutting 1915.
Francis (Mickey) Davison on the "Cenotaph Records."
Those in the trenches were bayoneted, but some found in the rear of the positions were captured. The machine gunners had kept up with the advance, but it was here on the northern slopes of Beauchop Hill that they lost their beloved young leader, Lieut. Frank (Mickey) Davison. Owing to casualties in officers and N.C.O's. a certain amount of confusion existed. Squadrons had become mixed up, but always the idea to get forward and up the hill carried the attacking lines on. In the darkness, perplexed by the broken country, fired on from all quarters, small bands of men kept together, dealt with isolated bodies of Turks, and then pushed on to reach the top of the hill. And they got there, such as were not killed or wounded. No detailed story of that wild night is possible. From the moment of the first charge till men found themselves on Bauchop Hill, nobody can say exactly what happened. All they knew was that they struggled and fought with Turk, with scrub and with hill, they fell down gullies, were fired at always, and eventually found themselves at their objective. Here under rifle and machine gun fire they commenced to dig in, tired but confident; and a cheer coming to them across the ridges their confidence was much increased.
This cheer came from the Otagos led by Colonel Bauchop. They too, struggling through all their difficulties, had won to the top of the hill.
While the Canterbury and Otago Regiments were thus accomplishing their tasks, the Aucklanders had rushed Old No. 3, and the Wellington Regiment following them had forced their way up the Sazli Beit Dere and had captured Table Top. So at 1 a.m. General Russell reported that Old No. 3, Table Top and Bauchop Hill were in our hands.

Yellowed with age, and more than a little water-marked due to a previous owners careless storage, this large pen and ink panoramic drawing of the Ayun Kara Battlefield is now being safely protected at the Kauri Museum. The museum's collections officer, and a daughter of a serving North Auckland Mounted Rifleman, Betty Nelley, took time out to show me this historic piece of Military Art.
(see enlarged grayscale image from above photgraph HERE - join ther subject on the Forum HERE)
The glass framed scene is now held in storage in the Museum's vault. I am informed that this and a number of other valuable pieces are usually placed on public display during Anzac Day commemorations each year.
The NZMR Brigade made the attack on the heavily defended Turkish position of Ayun Kara on the 14th November 1917. Fifty men of the Brigade were killed in the action that day. The mounted advance was a decisive victory for the heavily outnumbered New Zealanders, and the Turkish force was completely routed in the field. The Turkish defensive line moved quickly to retreat towards Jaffa and then Jerusalem - within three weeks the Turko-German forces surrendered the Holy City on the 9th December to the ever building Allied advance. Allenby had kept his promise to be in "Jerusalem before Christmas".
Always worth a visit and always full of surprises is the Kauri Museum at Matakohe in the far north of the North Island. Matakohe and surrounding districts is the home of the 11th Auckland Mounted Rifles.

Hi Steve, (7th October)
I am the education officer from the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown. We are in the process of completing the accession of a number of badges in our collection, and I was wondering if you would be able to identify the attached badge for me - which regiment, and what the '34' stands for.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Angela Verry
Education Officer
Lakes District Museum, Arrowtown New Zealand

Thanks for your contact Angela.
We are pleased to help, and pleased to see these old warhorses are again seeing the light of day.
Yes this is a very fine example of a badge of the 34th New Zealand Mounted Rifles Reinforcements.
Intakes of Reinforcement troops for the NZMR were being trained from before the "Main Body" departed New Zealand in October 1914. The first of the support troops were designated the 2nd Reinforcements. They sailed from Wellington on the 14th December 1914.
NZMR intakes were now sent from all parts of New Zealand for final training at the Featherston Camp just North of Wellington. At this point the intakes were called by a Reinforcement number even though the men came from any of the 12 Regimental areas within the country. After training together the troops were shipped to the war zones, and on arrival the individual men were allocated (usually) to their "Home" Regiment to bring the Brigade numbers back up to force.
On the 13th November 1917, the 34th Reinforcements NZMR departed Wellington on the S.S. Tofua (HMNZT 98) bound for Suez, Egypt. As this sailing was much later in the war the Reinforcement intakes had become smaller in numbers with the lack of eligible men to fight - and for this reason the Tofua also had onboard the 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd Reinforcements NZMR.
Fortunately we have a copy of the Ships Magazine that was produced and printed by the men as they sailed to the war. Titled "Horse Marines" this souvenir publication records events of the voyage, but more importantly lists the names of every man onboard. As you can see the numbers in the 34th Reinforcements is well down on the original influx of the first fifteen or twenty Reinforcements, hence the badge you have was not issued to many men, and therefore also has a rarity value that perhaps would fetch a nice price at auction - but I suggest this lovely example has found an appropriate home.
It would be nice to know if you have any documents relating to the history of the badge - lets hope you can see the owners name on the ship's passenger list.
Our Association came by the ships magazine by way of Trooper Rowland Smith's family , and we have reprinted Rowland's diary of events from his arrival Featherston Camp to his landing in Egypt. I'm sure there is plenty of material here to support your badges presentation at the Museum. We would be very interested in posting any exhibition or display dates here on our website.
Thankfully we have the power of the Forum to give a helping hand - Last night "Pukman" closed in on the case and posted his thoughts on the matter of the 34th's badge, (please join the thread) and I reproduce his post here:

I was reading the updates page with interest about the 34th MR reinforcements badge at the Arrowtown museum. The badge itself is actually a 23rd or 24th MR reinforcement collar badge with a 34th disc superimposed which makes it very unusual in itself. The standard ''double horses head'' badge is struck with a 23 , or with a 24 disc superimposed for the 24th. The 34th disc is slightly larger than the 24th disc. I would think this badge would have been made up at an individual troopers request by a camp jeweller,and is possibily one of a kind. The brooch back pin also suggest it could have been used as a sweetheart badge, as the originals had hexagonal lugs.

It could be possible it identify the trooper it belonged to, if it came from the Arrowtown region,given that there were 120-140 (actually 129) troopers in the 34th reinforcements, Arrowtown being a reasonably small place, and that we have a list of troopers. So if someone cross references it, we should be able to narrow down the possibilities.

i was fortunate to visit the Arrowtown museum a few years ago when they had an excellent ANZAC day exhibition. The museum is well worth a visit in itself especially for the local gold mining history which brought a flood of immigrints to this country.


Computer colourised photograph circa 1917

Long before the modern world was introduced to the canvas covered M*A*S*H field hospitals of 1970's entertainment television, the Armies of the world knew they had to take care of wounded men from the battlefield as soon as possible.
Therefore creating hospitals near, or on the battlefield is not a new concept. Recent archaeological excavations in the Czech Republic have discovered remains of a field hospital measuring 60 x 65 metres that was built by the Roman 10th Legion near Brno on the Danube River. (The site has been dated to the Marcomanic wars of Marcus Aurelius –172 A.D.)
Tent hospitals were common structures during the Crimean and American Civil wars, and by the 20th Century, canvas Field Hospitals had became more numerous as new medical technologies arrived. During World War One the ability to inoculate soldiers from the rigors of Malaria, Black Water Fever, Cholera and other diseases required greater medical manpower. And in the harsh deserts of Sinai Palestine - Heat stroke, sun-burn, trench-foot and Jericho buttons added to the myriad of aliments that befell troops on both sides of the conflict.
Left: A camel mounted Medical Officer of the Turkish Red Crescent. This photograph probably taken at the forward Turko-German Field Hospital at Huj, 1917.

History: In 1863 Henri Dunant, a Swiss national, introduced ideas for a code of protection and conduct for the wounded and sick during times of war. Within the year members of the Société genevoise d'utilité publique [Geneva Public Welfare Society] called a conference which was attended by 16 nations. These original nations adopted various resolutions and principles to help and protect both soldiers and civilians duriing times of conflict and natural disaster. The organisation was to become the strictly neutral and impartial worldwide group - the "National Red Cross Societies".
The name and emblem of the "Red Cross" was created to honour and thank Henri Dunant and the Swiss people - the Emblem is the inverse of the Swiss flag.
During the Russo-Turkish War of 1876-1878 the Ottoman Empire adopted a "Red Crescent" instead of the Red Cross because its government believed that the cross, an icon of Christianity, would alienate its Muslim soldiers. Later, Muslim leaders urged the Red Cross Societies in other nations such as Pakistan (1974) Malaysia (1975) and Bangladesh (1989) to change to a red crescent as a symbol of their neutrality.
Disputes arose when the Israeli Society tried to introduce a red "Star of David" as its symbol for neutral protection. It was not until 2006 that the ICRC and the Geneva Convention recognised the Red Shield of David (Magen David Adom) as a further symbol for protection of Hospitals and ambulance vehicles during times of conflict.
Because each of these symbols represents a religious faith, many believed the Red Cross Organisation should change its International symbol to a "Red Diamond". This new icon, also referred to as the "Red Crystal" was accepted and added to the Societies International symbols in 2005.