NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

Comments from Steve Butler ■ Email contact
Barrels of beer arrive for the Mounted Rifles to take part in holiday cheer. This photograph insert is probably taken in Turkish Palestine 1917. The five unnamed men are all troopers from the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment.
We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and prosperity for the New Year - Merry Christmas and good will to All Men.

photographer unknown - circa 1917 - duotone treatment 2010.

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.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Two Changes: Beersheba Page and Site Map page:-
New material added to our "Beersheba" and our "Site Map" pages.

Photographer unknown - taken November 1st 1917. Duotone treatment 2010.
NEW!The Auckland Mounted Rifles preparing to give chase of retreating Turkish Forces after their victory at Tel el Saba the night before.
A Large Format photograph of this scene available to download HERE size 1.5 megs
Also a suggestion by Malcolm Barker has brought about change to our "SITE MAP" page at:
http://www.nzmr.org/sitemap.htm
Malcolm, plus others, had voiced a mild frustration in trying to find a particular photo or article posted on our montly "Updates" pages.
Now, by visiting the site map and going to the bottom of the page a list of article abbreviations are tagged to individual montly links.
Hopefully this will allow a quicker search without having to open each individual archive one at a time.

REINFORCEMENTS READY FOR THE FRONT

Photograph Trooper Albert Anderson Collection, NAMR - circa 1916

Left: A segment view from what appears to be a "Passing Out" photograph of a barrack room of Reinforcement Troopers - circa 1916. These three men appear to be the two training N.C.O.'s and a Reinforcement Bugler.

As always we ask the public for any help in being able to identify the subjects in this image.
What we know so far: This photo is another picture from the collection of Corporal Albert Anderson of the North Auckland Mounted Rifles.

The photo required a lot of work to bring it back from its state of disrepair - however I am pleased with the result and the download allows a closer view of each of the troopers. I am sure some of these men will be recognised by relatives.
The Sergeant in the photo section above wears the hat badge of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, the corporal in the center wears the collar dogs and hat badge of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and the bugler wears a Reinforcements hat badge. In the enlargement attached some troopers wear various badge types - perhaps this is a signals class - I look forward to your views.
(Update from the Forum 7th Dec): there are three troopers wearing a a distinctive Basic frame type 17 (Geoffrey Lowes, New Zealand Reinforcement badges,1914-1918) with a rearing horse superimposed.You may be able to make out a kiwi at the base of the badge - Lowe abtributes this frame to being worn by reinforcements 15 to 18. In my opinion, this badge in the Mounted Rifle reinforcement variety, in this frame, is very rare.
Iain

Lieutenant Colonel James McCarroll - Matakohe Man

James McCarroll, at wars end. Photographic sitting at Schmidt Studios Auckland - circa 1919 - computer colourised 2010

James Neil McCarroll received his first promotion in the fledgling New Zealand Army on the 21st February 1903 when he became Corporal in the Otamatea Mounted Rifles Volunteers. His keen intellect and easy bushman's rapport with his fellow troopers saw him proceed quickly through the ranks.
Commissioned 23rd August 1907 as acting Lieutenant he was able to pass his Captains Exams in 1908. By 1913 he had gained the rank of Major and was in command of the North Auckland Mounted Rifles.
The following year, at the outbreak of World War One, he commanded the NAMR Squadron on Gallipoli.
His instinctive reactions on the battlefield saved many New Zealand lives. His quick assessment of the enemy's weaknesses allowed him to win important victories. Attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the Palestine Campaign, his most notable achievement was leading the AMR to victory during the action at Ayun Kara on the 14th November 1917, near the village of Richon le Zion, in what is today the modern state of Israel.
Fifty New Zealand Mounted Riflemen were to die during an attack and counter-attack against a battle hardened Turkish Division - the New Zealand Mounteds being a mere Brigade in number.
A bold flanking move by the Colonel's machine gunners enabled the Wellingtons on his right to break the Turkish counter attack, while his own isolated position held off a frontal riposte with bayonet and small arms fire.
James received a gun-shot wound to the neck late in the fight. A fight that had swung dangerously close to failure during the highly mobile day long action. However as he hoisted himself upon his horse to ride for medical attention the battle had turned in the Mounteds favour.
This was James' second brush with death as he had previously been wounded during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
James' Diaries were sent home to his wife and have now been transcribed and can be read HERE.


WW1 MILITARY BOOTS
Before the Great War of 1914 - 18 began a famous General from an earlier war was asked - what was the most important article in a soldiers kit. The General replied, "A good pair of boots!" - "And the next?" asked the questioner. "Another pair of good boots!"
Two pictures showing boots used by the Triple Entente and their allies - These photos of individual boots have been re-titled, cropped and condensed by the Associatiom from an original article published in "The Illustrated War News" February 2nd, 1916.

"FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE"

The Pagan Gods of Rome linger on in folklore in most Western societies, long after the rise of the modern religions of Christianity and Islam.
In the First World War the men of the 9th East Coast Mounted Rifles carried the ancient phrase "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" - (Fortune Favours the Brave) blazoned on their Squadron Hat Badges.
The phrase is from Terence's play "Phormio", written in the second century B.C.

The Roman Goddess Fortuna was the "Goddess of Luck" and she was influential in many aspects of Roman pagan life - 'Fortuna Redux' protected the traveller on the road home, 'Fortuna Annonaria' brought luck to the harvest.
'Fortuna Belli' brought fortune on the battlefield. She wore a Centurions helmet, carried a spear in her right hand and covered he eyes with a blindfold. She was also the Goddess of Fate - and for those who could see her smile in battle brought continuing life and luck - for others her frown meant death.


The reference to the ancient Gods did not stop at military insignia - all the New Zealand soldiers were "forced" to pay homage to "King Neptune" as they crossed the Equator en route to the hostilities.

Above: 9th East Coast Squadron Hat Badge from the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment sits over a postcard, franked without payment of postage that was allowed for the men to send messages home while "On Active Service". On the left, a certificate issued to a trooper as proof of involvement in the traditional rituals of humourous pursuits bestowed upon those unfortunate enough to have never "Crossed the Line" before. The ceremony of King Neptune coming aboard a ship at the Equator was the ship's crew traditional way of entertaining travellers after the many uneventful weeks at sea.
Notes: "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" has been adopted as a motto by a number of military units:-
It is the motto of the Sri Lanka Navy's Special Boat Squadron.
It is the motto of the Danish Army's Jydske Dragonregiment.
It is the motto of the British Army's Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th, 33rd/76th Foot).
It is the motto of the United States Marine Corps 3rd Infantry Regiment. (active from 20th December 1916)


FROM NGARUAWAHIA TO CHUNUK BAIR

Trooper Charles Gillanders - photograph John Schmidt Studios, Auckland 1914 - computer colourised 2010.

Charles Gillanders would have considered himself a lucky man to have survived the Great War, His luck had held to survive the South African Boer War of 1899 -1902. But to be one of the few New Zealanders to live through the attack on Chunuk Bair on the heights at Gallipoli on the 8th August 1915, he would have reflected soberly on those slim odds.
Charles, along with other members of 4th Troop, of the 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles Squadron, charged the entrenched and battle seasoned Turkish defenders to take Chunuk Bair in a bloody assault that left thousands of men dead on both sides.
Chunuk Bair was the highest point, and the furthermost inland that the British forces were able to penetrate from their landing point at Anzac Cove.

The attack to gain control of the Peninsular began on the night of the 7th August as the British High Command coordinated a three prong attack from Cape Helles in the South, Anzac in the center, and Sulva Bay in the North. This was to be the last mighty thrust to breakout of the strangle-hold the Ottoman Turks had placed on the Dardenelles Invasion. British and Anzac Forces had been held stationary for many months and had not advanced more than a few hundred meters from their landing beach-heads of the 25th April.

Charles' story is revealed in part by fellow 4th Troop member and friend Jack Shepherd in his Diary presented HERE. The Diary carries other photos of Charles and his brother Vincent and the events and casualty figures of 4th Troop as the men struggled to take the Heights - This was to be the New Zealand Mounted Rifles worst day of World War One with most of the Brigade's men in action.

Full Name: Charles McRae Gillanders
Forename(s): Charles McRae
War:
  • South African War, 1899-1902
  • World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No.:
  • 8557
  • 13/345
First Known Rank: Trooper
Next of Kin: C. Gillanders, Ngaruawahia, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Ngaruawahia, New Zealand
Military District: Auckland
Body on Embarkation: Main Body
Embarkation Unit: Auckland Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation: Auckland, New Zealand
Vessel: Star of India or Waimana
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Page on Nominal Roll: 263
Date of Death: 27 November 1965
Cemetery Name: Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

GILLANDERS - The names of three sons of Mr. & Mrs. Chas Gillanders of Ngaruawahia have now appeared in the casualty lists. The three brothers enlisted at the outbreak of war and left with the 4th, Waikato Mounted Rifles. Bugler Norman GILLANDERS was killed in action in May; his brother Trooper Charles GILLANDERS, was wounded in August; and the third son, Trooper Vincent Francis GILLANDERS, is reported to have been dangerously wounded and is now in the 3rd, Western Hospital, Cardiff.

[printed Auckland Weekly News 30.09.1915]

The publishing date of this clipping from the Auckland Weekly News, and the fact that Vincent was also a member of 4th Troop (see Jack Shepherd photo), would suggest that Vincent was most likely wounded on Gallipoli the same time as his brother Charles - possibly during the same attack of 8th August.
It would take a few weeks for a seriously wounded man to be transported from Gallipoli by Hospital Ship to specialist care in Wales.

At Chunk Bair NZMR brothers killed included:
Trooper George Alexander Douglas of the Auckland Mounted Rifles killed 8.8.15 – Chunuk Bair his brother Trooper Thomas Lewis Douglas of the Wellington Mounted Rifles killed next day 9.8.15

Trooper John McKinnon of the Auckland Mounted Rifles and his brother Private Kenneth McKinnon Auckland Infantry Battalion, both during the attack 8.8.15  - Chunuk Bair.

Major P.J. (Percy) Overton, 2 I.C. Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment killed during the opening night attack on the 7.8.15 and his brother Lance-Cpl. Guy Stanley Overton 7th Field Ambulance, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, died of wounds three days later at sea from Gallipoli 10.8.15

Gallipoli Association list of brothers killed HERE.