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NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES


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21st Anniversary issue
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50th Anniversary issue
4 penny and 5 penny
stamps 1965.







2008 stamp
90th Anniversary of
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DESERT LANDING

photograph John Currie Family Collection - circa 1917
Manawatu Mounted Rifleman, Trooper John Currie took this photograph of his fellow Wellington Mounted Riflemen as they inspect a B.E.2 aircraft in the sands of the Sinai Palestine Desert. The much crumpled and aged print carries a note written on the back to his family back home:
"Our aeroplane on the desert. Rev Eccles son with a 'x' over head."

11/988 Trooper John Currie was a member of the 6th Manawtu Mounted Rifles and departed 14th February 1915 with the 3rd Reinforcements and saw extensive action throughout the war with his best mate "Jock". We have a number of John Currie's photos spread throughout our website - and more still to load. A classic photo of John and his trusty steed Jock can be seen HERE. and a further image of Jock being lured away from John is posted HERE.
Of special interest is John's reference to Reverend Eccles' son in the above photo. The man is Trooper, and later 11/1145 Sergeant Marton Ashton Eccles of the 5th Reinforcements WMR who became a Sergeant with the Machine Gun Section. Marton was to emulate his father, the Most Reverend Canon Eccles, and join the church after the war. Further photos of Martin, his horse "Billy" and the Machine Gunners are HERE.

NELSON LADS

photograph Neal Family Collection. Hat badge 10th Nelson Mounted Rifles.
We are indebted to John Winter who sent up a series of photographs courtesy of the Neal Family of Nelson this last week.
In this studio sitting we have three Nelson lads, fortunately someone has long ago written at the foot of the original photograph, from left to right:-
"P. Neal, (Carluke) A. McPherson, (Fairle) W. Gee (Christchurch)."
The friends all display the insignia of the 10th Nelson Mounted Rifles Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment.

As with all these magnificent images of the men there is so much to note. We see time and time again there is quite considerable variation in uniform attire. Although a black and white image we observe the many shading and colour differences that were used in hat manufacture, both the hat itself and the puggaree band.
The two men on the left wear the leather ammunition bandolier worn by troops who departed with the Main Body in 1914. Trooper Gee wears a later manufactured style showing a slightly different flap shape.

NZMRA Member, Jonathan "Jonsig", observes some uniform particulars, and suggests a time period that the photograph was taken. He points to the unit patch attached to Trooper Mc Pherson's puggaree hat band:

"...patches were not introduced until late 1917, so this must be 1917 or 1918. The two men on the left are wearing what appears to be the Pattern 1903 50 Round Bandolier, Mk. II. Or the, Pattern 1903 90 Round Bandolier, The NZMR started wearing British 03 equipment in favor of the NZ made equipment.

The man on the right is wearing a British 1903 Waist Belt, Mk. I, note the small buckle compared to the two New Zealand made belts.
Also the man on the left is wearing a British made S.D Jacket with unpleated pockets."


Trooper 7/244 Percy Edward Neal, standing left, was to be part of the attack on Chunuk Bair on the Gallipoli Peninsular on the 6th and 7th August 1915. He was Wounded in Action and evacuated to hospital.
Unfortunately his cousin who enlisted with him in New Zealand on the same day and given a Regimental Number two digits later was not to be so lucky - 7/246 Trooper William James Neal, was (KIA) Killed in Action the same day Percy was wounded - 7th August.
Trooper Neal's Cenotaph history listed with colourised image two items below.

Above: Excerpt from the "Evening Post 1st September 1915" listing Percy's wounding and evacuation.
A. McPherson (Fairlie), sitting centre, is one of two men listed with the initial 'A. McPherson' in the Nominal Roll and who also has a Nelson Squadron number prefix of "7". They are:
7/760 Trooper Alexander McPherson with the enlistment address of the Wakefield Hotel, Timaru who departed with the 2nd Reinforcements - Or - 7/1641 Lance Corporal Allan McPherson of Woodbury who departed with the 7th Reinforcements October 1915. Allan was to "Die of Disease" 20th October 1918.

W. Gee (Christchurch), standing right of photo:
Full Name: William David Gee
Serial No.: 7/1731
First Known Rank: Trooper
Next of Kin: W.C. Gee (father), 83 Ruskin Street, Spreydon, Christchurch, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Waikare Road, Upper Waitotara, New Zealand
Military District: Wellington
Body on Embarkation: 7th Reinforcements
Embarkation Unit: Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 9 October 1915
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Aparima or Navua or Warrimoo
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Page on Nominal Roll: 257
Sources Used: Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume I.
Cenotaph Database Auckland War Memorial Museum.

NEW PUBLICATION, PRE-RELEASE SPECIAL

Author Phil Beattie's new book "Victoria's Volunteers" will be released this month on the 15th September.
"Early-Bird" shoppers may take an advantage by making a pre-order purchase over the next week.

The NZMRA supports Phil's book covering the "New Zealand and the Imperial Officer's Decoration 1894 -1902" - A history of the decoration sanctioned by Queen Victoria, and awarded to officers of Her Majesty's Imperial and Colonial Volunteer Forcer for twenty years of worthy and efficient service. The publication covers:
• Description of decoration and its award criteria,
• Analysis of naming styles,
• Full list of recipients, including those who erroneously received the decoration between 1902 and 1904,
• Biographies of all recipients, with photographs and other related images,
• List of known extant decorations,
• A4 soft cover, 110 pages (over half are in colour)
Pricing: RRP is NZ$59 + $5 standard postage. Order and pay before 15 Sep 10 and the price is discounted to NZ$50 plus postage
• Internet banking is preferred – Acct: P J Beattie, Acct No. 12-3136- 0208066-50
• NZ Cheque payable to P J Beattie, sent to P.O. Box 35-165, Shirley, Christchurch, NZ 8640
• Paypal is accepted for overseas purchasers, payable to nzboer@gmail.com (£29, A$49, US$45) plus postage.
Contact: Phil to place an order, or if you have any questions regarding this publication.
Books will be shipped as soon as they arrive from the printers on or about 15 Sep 2010.

(The NZMR extends our thoughts to you Phil and to the thousands of Cantabrians who have been stuck by the Massive 7.1 magnitude Earthquake last night - keep well and safe - we are all thinking of you - a tragic day.)


CARLUKE MARLBOROUGH MAN

Photograph Neal Family Collection. - Computer Colourised
Full Name: Percy Edward Neal
Surname: Neal
Serial No.: 7/244
First Known Rank: Trooper
Next of Kin: Charles Neal (father), Timatanga, Marlborough, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Timatanga, New Zealand
Military District: Canterbury
Squadron 10th Nelson Mounted Rifles
Body on Embarkation: Main Body
Embarkation Unit: Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation: Lyttelton, New Zealand
Vessel: Tahiti or Athenic
Destination: Suez, Egypt

GENERAL SERVICE PUMP

Malcolm Baker's recent trip to the Waiouru Military Museum reminds us all of just what is available for New Zealanders to see and do while looking for the history of the NZMR.

The photograph right is of the loyal G.S. Pump that served our troops so well in providing precious water during the advance across the Sinai Desert in 1916.
However, on seeing this old military pump makes me wonder just how many of these units may still be in existence, unrecognised, and under piles of junk in farmers sheds.
I recall an Uncle utilising pistons from a WW2 Merlin 'Spitfire' engine to pump water off swamp land during the late fifties. Surely farmers would have readily purchased these G.S. Pumps from Army Surplus Stores between wars for the same purpose.

Attach this photo to an email and send it to your farming mate and tell him to have a scratch-round! Tell him its worth a lot more than the scrap Brass!


photograph Malcolm Baker -2010

IMPORTANT FIND OF OLD GLASS PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES
article reprinted from The Press, Christchurch, 22nd August 2010:
HISTORY IS FRAGILE — when it is stored on glass.

The glass-plate negative of a picture of Canterbury soldiers boarding the troop ship Athenic at Lyttelton on September 23, 1914, is broken in the top left-hand corner.

It was one of 63 glass-plate negatives found by chance at The Press by illustrations staff member Jude Tewnion while sorting photographs in a storeroom. The images offer a window on a poignant moment in history.

Some plates were broken but, when printed, all revealed sharp images of South Island soldiers preparing and leaving for World War I in 1914.

This week, The Press took the 96-year-old plates to the National Army Museum at Waiouru, where they will be archived and preserved.

Museum archivist Dolores Ho was amazed at the clarity and detail in the negatives, all of which have now been digitised by The Press.

• Are your ancestors or relatives here? Do you recognise anyone in these photographs?

• Email reporters@press.co.nz .

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/40462 35/Photographic-history-found

Members were keen to let the Association know about the re-discovered glass plate photographs printed in an article in the Christchurch newspaper 'The Press' this past weekend. A number of emails arriving to alert me to the find, thank You.
Except for one or two plates being slightly deteriorated through age, the images of the South Island men preparing to depart to the Great War are truly in excellent shape.
I spoke to Press Reporter Mike Crean about their find and asked about the availability to obtain high resolution copies of the pictures.
" While printing the images to newsprint and making lo-resolution copies for Internet viewing the newspaper has not decided what the next step will be." Said Mike.
"The images are so sharp and clear that they are more than suitable for high quality book presentation. We haven't made a decision on that at this time."
I for one certainly hope The Press opts to go ahead and publish a book, 63 lost images from the past of our men preparing to depart for Gallipoli and beyond is a bit of history I want sitting on my book shelf.
Note: the National Army Museum at Waiouru is also listed on our links page HERE.
Below: Photographs following the men from Camp to Transporters.