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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


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TURKISH PRISIONERS - JERUSALEM 1918

photograph: New York State Archives NYSA_A3045-78_5962
Unknown New Zealand Mounted Riflemen oversee a food distribution line for Turkish prisioners.
This image from the New York State Archives, and records the event as POW Camp Jerusalem 1918. New Zealand troopers were easily recognised by the dual colour banded hat pugaree.


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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PAUSE IN THE SHADE BETWEEN PARADES

Photo Christine McMahon - April 25th 2010
Malcolm Baker sits astride his immaculately groomed and presented mount to take a rest in the shade between parades.
Learning of Malcolm's involvement in the Hastings Anzac turnouts I telephoned to get the inside story.
"The horse," explained Malcolm, "Is a 9 year-old ex-trotter and has been driven at driving shows up and down the North Island, he was broken to saddle three weeks before Anzac Day. We have a drum kit, so we spent some time making a lot of noise around him to prepare him for the big day. The rifle salute was the only thing I would have liked to have put more time into to prepare him for the noise.
"I would also like to acknowledge the help and advice I received from Shaun Maloney who supplied the saddle with bed roll, hat and badge, including also the 03 pattern bandolier."
An ardent supporter of the men and history of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, Malcolm considered it a privilege to ride as a Memorial Trooper in both the Dawn Service and the later morning parade - on hand to report the events of the day - Clinton Llewellyn of the "Hastings & Havelock North Mail" :-

An Emotional Tribute

The sight of Hastings man Malcolm Baker on horseback in full World War I uniform at the Hastings Anzac Day dawn service and the later memorial service at Maraekakakho seems to have touched many people.
Mr. Baker says some grown men were almost in moved to tears at the full uniform of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
Mr. Baker says he wore the uniform because this years Anzac Day commemorations held special significance.
"This year marked the 95th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, we lost a family member in the first few days. He was an engineer and as a machine gunner in the Wellington Rifles he would have worn the uniform and also ridden a horse."
The sight of Malcolm Baker even inspired poet Jenny Dobson to write "Anzac Day".

AnzacDay
by Jenny Dobson

over the heads of the air training corps cadets.
I watched your wide flanks rolling, not quite in time with the drum. Soldier all quiet in wool serge and canvas rocking with your steady steps, military hat a high silhouette in the dark dawn lit street.
Outside the RSA soldiers stood easy, old men went first through the door, and children came up to you, more curious than cautious, heads back arms outstretched to finger your fine boned head.
"Boy" the soldier answered to some child's query and your eye flickered, too many memories shouldered burdened on your broad neck, the leather pouches, bedroll rifle bag, bullets.”
" Most of the horses,” the soldier said "Were smaller, easier to feed freed and transport.”
"How many went." I asked, your hooves like great bells tolling your brown hide sighing "four and half thousand," he replied and my heart felt you dying. 

CAMP AT MANSURAH
Corporal 17582 Albert Anderson of the 22nd Reinforcements has posed me a little problem. He has written on the back of this intriguing photo - "Camp at Mansurah".
But "Mansurah" where?
The problem is that "Mansurah" the Arabic word for "Victory", or "Al Mansurah", "El Mansurah" meaning "The Victorious". It is one of those place names that appears more than once on maps right across the Arab world.
There is Al Mansurah north of Cairo in the Nile Delta - another Mansurah south of Gaza - another north of "Junction Station" (taken by English Yeomanry as the NZMR took Ayun Kara).

It would be nice to know more about this photo, and for our history sleuths I have started a forum link HERE.
Points to consider:
The trees look large and well established in the background, and the animals appear to be grazing on a good covering of grass. This would give the location a good water source, certainly the fertile Nile Delta would supply that. The Egyptian City of Al Mansurah is on the banks of the Damietta branch of the Nile . This was the site of a crushing defeat of the 7th Crusades and the city of Mansoura was established there in 1219 by Saladin's brother, Abu-Bakr Malik.
Two substantial buildings would suggest that this was not the location south of Gaza. However, before the first attack on Gaza, New Zealander Trooper John Robertson of the Cameliers writes in his book; "With the Cameliers in Palestine" :-
While Major-General Dallas had been moving his Headquarters from El Breij to Mansura, Headquarters of Desert Column had been out of touch with him for two hours, and as soon as communication was established Generals Dobell and Chetwode telegraphed him urgently to attack without delay.
(page 83 Chapter 9)
Again Robertson mentions Mansura in Chapter 10 as the Second attack on Gaza is about to take place:-
The 53rd Division which suffered so heavily in the first attack, was to move along the sand-dunes on the coast, the 52nd Division was to make the main attack along a front between Mansura and Sheikh Abbas, the 54th on the right of the 52nd was to attack towards Khirbet Sihan, ...
At this stage I have no photos of this location showing multi-storey buildings as shown in the photograph above.
Later E.W.G. Masterman Secretary of British Palestine Society wrote of the English Yeomanry advance about the area of Richon:-

By the 14th our troops occupied the Wady Rubin, with its narrow flowing stream, and due east of this seized the railway in the vicinity of Naameh and El Mansurah, including the junction with the central railway from the north.
The next day, the 15th
[november 1917], our troops after slight resistance occupied the line Ramleh and Ludd and reached some three miles south of Jaffa.  At Abu Shusheh (Gezer) the Yeomanry captured this historic site.

Now what do you think? - Further Update - We didn't have to wait long, Malcolm Baker made the connection to Mansurah Camp through Colonel Powles book - "With the New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine."
On the 20th [March 1919] the Auckland Mounted Rifles moved off to Tanta a town in the Delta. They were quickly followed by the Canterbury Regiment and later by the Wellington Regiment and Brigade Headquarters. The Auckland Mounted Rifles went to Damanhour by rail (about mid-way between Kantara and Alexandria), but after a few days were withdrawn and moved back to Tanta and from there to Mehallet Kebir and later to Mansura and then across the river to Talka where they remained until withdrawn for embarkation.

A reminder to Members:
Membership for 2010 is now due.
Our membership runs from Anzac Day each year. Your NZ$10 keeps the NZMR presence available on the Internet. Each year the public responds by more and more visits. The growth of schools and colleges researching the site is proof that the young are more than interested in the events that prevailed over their Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers.
This month alone the pupils of Auckland's Normal Intermediate School have visited the site over 100 times. Traffic from Auckland Boy's, Marist Girls, Otago Boys are further education centers that stand out. Last month was our biggest month for traffic with 363 individuals arriving each day over the entire month. This related to 152,878 files being downloaded to expand and spread the history of the men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
Thank You in advance for your contribution.

TAKING A BREAK
Leave was always on the mind in 1916, and when their turn came the men readily left the tedium of desert life and the plagues of flies behind. For the Mounted Riflemen the destination was the sights of Cairo or Alexandria.
Troops could either catch a train from the desert Kantara Rail terminus or travel by paddle steamer up the Suez Canal to Cairo. The paddle steamer above photographed by Trooper Foote was among the number of tourist boats taken from the Nile service to handle the increased local traffic along the Canal.
Top right: A further memento from Trooper Fred Foote's collection, a Tram Ticket souvenir from the Alexandria city service.
Top Left: A further photograph from Trooper Albert Anderson's collection shows a view that would be impossible for a tourist to obtain today. Albert has climbed to the top of the Great Pyramid at Giza and has taken his photo of the tourist camels walking at the foot of the Pyramid. In the middle distance is the world famous Mena House - a hotel used by heads of state and the rich on their visits to Cairo. Even today, to view the Pyramids from Mena House at sunset is considered one of the "things to do before you die".

GOOD WORK MARTY!

Click on image for larger version.
Many of you have taken keen interest in a Auckland Mounted Rifles group reunion photograph taken outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Taken sometime we thought, between the mid 1950's to the mid 1960's. One suggestion was that the photo was taken in 1954, a date recognised as being a year that the AMR had a reunion gathering in the Auckland Domain. However a closer inspection of the print showed an early model English Ford Anglia car on the far right (only available in New Zealand from 1960 onwards) - Could this then be the 50th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing - 25th April 1965?

With the continuing efforts of Flight Sergeant Marty Fitchett, a grandson of Lieutenant Wilfred Fitchett shown in the photograph, the case of the date of the "Reunion Photograph" looks nearer to being solved.
Marty was doubtful that the photograph was taken in 1965 as his grandfather Wilfred had taken ill early 1965 and died that year. However he could see the event had attracted members from far and wide - indeed his own grandfather had travelled all the way from Wellington where he had settled and raised a family.
The answer appears to be in a booklet he has uncovered listing the names of the men involved in a parade to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Departure of the Main Body in October 1964.
It seems logical that the photo was taken at this event.
Below: Auckland Mounted Riflemen at the parade.
We have now a list of the men that did attend the 50th Anniversary Parade in rememberance of that day in October 1914 when the Auckland members of the Main Body sailed down the Waitemata in the "Star of India" and the "Waimana" .
What I would like to learn is - can we match more names to the men in our photo?


Front page of a four page booklet of the men
and units that attended the parade..


Reg. No. Surname Initials
13/280 Abbot G.M.
13/5 Armstrong L.J.
13/525 Atkins S.
13/24A Barclay W.
13/10 Beere D.M.
13/12 Blanks A.D.
13/303 Bonnigton H.
13/21 Broderick A.E.
13/14 Brooke M.
13/170 Brown H.N.O.
13/293 Budden H.W.
13/259 Campbell A.H.
13/575 Christensen W.A.
13/311 Collins H.A.
13/307 Coubrough N.
13/524 Dawson J.W.
13/563 Dickey E.M.
13/222 Dill F.G.
13/178 Donaldson T.D.
13/180 Drake J.E.R.
13/263 Dudding J.S.
13/321 Duffull A.
13/53 Fielding E.
13/329 Fitchett W.B.
13/326 Foster W.J.
13/331 Fuller R.H.
13/338 Garland G.
13/342 Garlick R.
13/350 Garrett H.G.
13/340 Gilbert E.M.
13/2196 Graham J.R.
13/189 Griffin G.H.
13/363 Hall E.S.
13/360 Harty W.R.
13/76 Hatrick H.K.
13/74 Hawes R.A.
13/70 Henman A.C.
13/641 Hilton-Jones W.
13/701 Judd M.G.
13/638 Leadbeater H.V.
13/381 Luxton L.W.

Reg. No. Surname Initials
13/105 MacDonald A.F.
13/714 MacFarlane A.
13/646 MacIennan K.G.
13/401 Middleton H.C.
13/97 Mildon H.A.
13/406 Miller R.H.
13/405 Mills J. McA.
13/103 Moore W.T.
13/396 Morison M.
13/218 Muldrock V.
13/414 Nesbit C.W.
13/416 Newnes R.
13/112 Nicol C.G.
13/215 Nugent B. O'R.
13/609 Orr A.C.
13/223 Orr A.C.
13/421 Palmer J.C.
13/528 Palmer W.
13/420 Picot E.H.
13/433 Robinson E.L.
13/435 Robinson H.C.
13/531 Rodgers J.L.
13/445 Seaward C.F.
13/628 Sheldon J.G.
13/448 Simkins J.
13/441 Snowden S.
13/461 Sperry F.
13/231 Spick R.M.
13/619 Sproul R.Mc.
13/235 St.Clair J.P.
13/237 Stevens K. M.
13/440 Stewart A.
13/131 Stichbury T.
13/42 Stringer T.W.
13/446 Sweetman P.
13/238 Taylor R.
13/143 Thomas N.J.
13/473 Ward R.
13/149 Warder H.
13/521 Watters F.
13/477 Williams E.J.

UNDERCARRIAGE PROBLEMS

Interested Mounted Rifleman look on as a aircraftsman considers the possibilities of getting this Fe2b aeroplane airworthy again. The undercarriage has completely collapsed and lower wing damage is obvious.
The Fe2b's entered the war as fighter, observation and patrol support aircraft. the pilot sitting in the rear with a gunner in the front cockpit armed with either one or two Lewis machine guns and the ability to fire through an arc of 180 degrees. But by 1916 the aircraft became easy prey to German aircraft developments, and the Fe2b was detailed to be operated only as a night bomber.

A further photograph in Trooper Russell's continuing monthly presentations - this months photos May 1917 now available to view HERE.

Update: Thanks Robert for your email:

The F.E.2 (Farman Experimental 2) was a "Pusher" aircraft - that is a rear engined mounted propeller pushing the aircraft forward in flight. 1,939 were built, going into service 1915 originally as a fighter.
The installation of the 160 h.p. motor in 1916 increased the span of life for the type, but it was hopelessly outclassed by the close of the year and was finally withdrawn from daylight operations early in 1917. Service until the War's end was as a night operations bomber.

FROM GALLIPOLI TO AMMAN

photograph Dunning Collection - circa 1917 - computer colourised.

13/224 Trooper Angus Roderick Dunning, "Pat" to almost everybody else, fought in the Great War from beginning to end - from Gallipoli to Amman. Twice wounded on Gallipoli, where he received a gunshot wound to the right arm and a shrapnel wound to his elbow, Pat rose in rank to Sergeant in the Auckland Mounted Rifles Signals.
Below: A handwritten section relating to Pat's wounding, recorded in the Auckland Mounted Rifles War Diary for June 27th 1915. The Regiments War Diaries were compiled by the Regiments Adjudant, 13/633 Captain Ferdinand August Wood at Anzac:-

June 27th – Gallipoli Peninsular, Sunday, Regiment acts as inlying picquet.  At 5 am Turks heavily shell our trenches and heavy rifle fire ensues.  The following men were wounded whilst sapping and machine gun work on Walkers Top. No 13/371 Trooper Owen S. Jones 4th Squadron.  13/224 Trooper Angus Robert Dunning 3rd Squadron.  13/19 Trooper Kenneth Bishop 3rd Squadron.  13/556 Trooper Samuel Fletcher 3rd Squadron.  13/753  Trooper James Wrenn 4th Squadron.

Besides being a competent soldier Pat was a competitive sportsman from a sporting family from the North Auckland region. Playing representative Rugby for the AMR, he later toured the United Kingdom in 1919 with the Army team.
The image left below is the Auckland Mounted Rifles Team.
The right hand column carries another photograph also taken in the British Isles in the winter of 1919. There is no description of who these men are, but various uniforms are visible and I suspect these are some of the competitors involved in the tournament arranged after the war. Uniforms of New Zealanders, Englishmen, Australians and turbans of Indian players can clearly be seen.


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