NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

Comments from Webmaster Steve Butler ■ Email contact
DESERT TELECOM
Trooper Fred Foote (left) sits with two other signallers of the NZMR winding up Field Telephone cable in the deserts of Turkish Palestine (circa 1917). Of special mention is the condition of the horses in the background. These animals, the pride of New Zealand, stood up to the rigors of desert life remarkably well. In operational conditions were able to go without water for 40 to 50 hours and cover great distances.
(Insert top left) Part of the Foote Family collection is the 100 x film negative holder compiled by Fred during his service in the Middle East during the Great War. Although some negatives have not stood the test of time, many are acceptable records of the events. Some, like the photograph above are of exceptional quality and look like the could have been taken yesterday.
As of today (9th Jan 10) we have posted 50 of the negatives HERE.
Further Update:
"I was searching your updates and noticed a photo in the Jan 11th 2010 update article titled Desert Telecom.  The gentleman in the centre of the title phote is my Grandfather Angus Roderick Dunning (also known as Pat) - Cheryl Tomich


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.

WINE-TREKKERS
As most of us enjoy the end of year holiday break, it means a work-out for some!
In the beautiful wine country of the Hawke's Bay, local wine-tasters get around the drink-driving laws with ease. These spledidly presented mounts idly bide their time out of the heat of the midday sun while their masters partake a sample or two of the district vintage.
The scene reminded me of the many old black and white photographs of the NZMR Horses clustered about the trees of Palestine - indeed these animals are descendants of those mounts that took our men into action over ninety years ago.
Clearview Winery on Google
Thanks to all of you who sent in material for all of us to enjoy, I look forward to receiving more items when you get back to work!
...And while on holiday - why not add your comments to Fred Footes newly released photographs page?


13/2187 Trooper Fredrick James Foote
Trooper Fred Foote, North Auckland MR

Trooper Fred Foote - 6th Reinforcements, Auckland Mounted Rifles.
photograph Fred Foote Collection computer clourised - circa 1914



Above: Fred and other members of the Auckland Mounted Rifles outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum (circa 1965)
A more than pleasant surprise was in store for both myself and the Association when Judith Brown notified me by email to say that she recognised her Dad, Fred Foote, in the reunion photograph we have posted on our "Auckland Regiment" page.

It was a great pleasure to meet Judith and her daughter Karen when they offered to bring me personal diaries, a photo album, and a wallet of over 100 original negatives of Fred's service with the NZMR during WW1.
Members are going to be truly surprised by the subject matter and quality of these 90 x 60 mm negatives of images never before published.
Fred was a Gallipoli man , a signaller, who served with the NZMR in both the Campaigns.
Below: A wonderful opportunist shot as a scout plane flies over the AMR - "Somewhere in Palestine"


Trooper Foote writes on this negative folder: "Enemy plane taken on a stunt".
Note: "Stunt" was Anzac slang and meant "operation against the enemy."

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
Above: The dreaded "Double Exposure".
As I go through the 100 odd negatives of Trooper Fred Foote's collection, (that hasn't see the light of day for ninety odd years), each scan becomes an exciting event as I wait to see what my negative machine will reveal. At this time (Dec 29th) I have done nearly 50 of the images, and they range from being absolutely brilliant to some unfortunate disasters. Some negatives have aged at a greater rate than others, chemical reactions blackening images beyond recovery. Others have not fixed correctly at the time of process, and in some cases the film has deteriorated to become a piece of clear celluloid.
The above double image is the result of taking two photos on the same segment of film. At the time of the Great War, all photographers had to be alert to immediately wind the film forward after taking a picture to avoid this result. Alas the arrival of the expose-ratchet wheel to prevent this event happening was not to take place until many years later. (the invention only allowing advancing film to re-cock the shutter).
There was really no need then to show this picture other than I know a few of you would be very disappointed that this picture of Fred mounted on a Camel would have been a rare find - a close up of saddlery and camel tack tantalizingly close for viewing. Then of course is the other image also lost in the second exposure, this image can just be seen at 90 degrees of the first. Men appear to be erecting a tent.
This photograph then is more a plea to families to get your old negatives scanned before it is too late.
BUT THEN THERE ARE THE FOOTE SUCESSES LIKE BELOW: -
Desert rifle inspection

Titled "Rifle Inspection" this photo made me laugh out loud as I matched the caption with the content.
I am sure there are plenty of ex-soldiers out there who will recognise this scene, and especially the trooper standing seventh from the left. How many times was that man copied by myself when the Sergeant-major yelled out - "Rifle Inspection - on Parade NOW!" - A quick panic, open the breach, retrieve the ever handy "Pull-through" already sitting in my back pocket pre-loaded with a clean cloth segment (no oil on this piece of cloth, don't want dust sticking on oil film in the next few minutes) - Quickly now - drop the brass weight down the barrel - and pull her through - faster now - one more pull and shove the cord into the back pocket, and now look straight ahead like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth!
So nothing changes - I like this photo a lot!



Please visit our developing page on Fred Footes photographs HERE.


FURTHER UPDATE:
Right: Due to popular email requests, a close-up image of our tardy trooper in the act of a hurried catch up with his rifle maintenance. He hopes this will be a successful inspection!


THE MYSTERY OF THE VANISHING OBELISK OF AYUN KARA
Trooper Fred Foote's high resolution photograph of the Obelisk erected at Ayun Kara to mark the spot where the men of the NZMR were first buried after the attack on Turkish Forces - 14th November 1917.

For many years historians and authors have asked the question of where the Memorial Obelisk at Ayun Kara had disappeared to. Who destroyed the memorial to the NZMR men who fell at Ayun Kara?
Most of us believed the structure was a concrete or of stone construction but this photograph and close -up segments clearly show the Memorial was made only of wood, and the structure may well have just fallen into a state of disrepair and finally rotted away. After all it was only after WWII that some asked where the memorial had gone.

In each of the close-ups we can see various points that show it was wood:
Top left: planks sections can be clearly seen running lengthways up the obelisk.
Top Right: A small branch knot hole has fallen out of one of the rough sawn planks along the front edge.
Bottom: Again clear signs, the grain is easily visible showing a branch section (center) and depression on the ends that show where bolts or pegs have been inserted to hold the structure together. There is no way that these could be "Boxing marks" made into concrete, as a concrete pouring would be set flush into the ground - as one can see the structure makes hit ands miss contact with the ground's surface.
I am sure the folk at Nes Tsonia will be pleased to see this, as there is to be an unveiling of a new monument this coming February and this image will tie up all the loose ends. (regards Gal - we finally found the proof you were looking for - you suspected a wooden structure some time back.) Comments here please.

KIA TOA AKE AKE!
rough riders new zealand
It is always worth the visit to relatives over the holiday period. You are never quite sure what might turn up!
Now my Uncle is not quite sure how this souvenir coin of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles involvement in the South African War ended up in the family, but here it is! In a very nice condition, one "Sweetheart" brooch. The pin has been welded with silver solder at two points on the obverse of the coin. Stamped 1900, but has no monetary value recorded, so it must have been issued as a commemorative piece only.
"Kia Toa Ake Ake" translates from Maori into English as: " Be Brave, Forever"