NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

Comments from Steve Butler ■ Email contact
THE DUNNINGS FROM THE NORTH



Sergeant Pat Dunning - NAMR - photograph circa 1917
computer colourised 2011
Standing center: "Pat" Dunning with some fellow members of the Auckland Mounted Rifles all conquering Rugby team.
No military protocol evident as senior NCO's and Officers join with "Other Ranks" to form a Campaign winning team.
The Official History of the Regiment "The Story of Two Campaigns" records proudly:
"The AMR Football Team, which never had its line crossed: Winners of the Anzac Cup."

Over the last year I have been posting many photographs of Main Body man,13/224 Sergeant Angus"Pat" Dunning. There are still more to come, but there is a need to place all Pat's photographs, and that of his cousin "Archie" Dunning also of the AMR onto their own separate page. The page has only a few entries at present , but the images will be updated over the next few days.

Again we would like to that Cheryl and her extended family for providing these images to the Association.

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.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 



22nd REINFORCEMENTS NZMR


Above: A numbered group photo of the 22nd Reinforcements of the NZMR that departed for the Front on the S.S. Moeraki 15th February 1917. Click on image for enlargement. Drag corner of the image with your cursor to enlarge to suit your screen size.

A further photograph from the collection of Corporal Albert Anderson - Signaller with the NAMR. I have numbered this smaller image in the hope that members of the public will recognise members of this detail and contact me using a number as a referral.

Already we have one trooper that we are able to identify. Trooper Norman Booth of the NAMR is able to be recognised and the family is very pleased to be able to expand their knowledge of their father and grandfather.

We were fortunate to have journalist Graeme Booth write a piece on his father last year, and we have now been able to add this image pictured on the right to the families story. Trooper Norman and his brother Andrew have their updated story to read HERE.

In the enlargement above:
Corporal Albert Anderson sits at number 69.
Trooper 3578 Norman Booth stands at number 10.

SSM William Hawkin who was KIA at Beersheba, number 55.
Corporal Robert Schlaepfer sits at number 45.


DESERT SMOKO
Members of the Auckland Mounted Rifles sit for an impromptu photograph in the desert south of Beersheba.
Corporal Albert Anderson's comprehensive photo captures a relaxed and casual mood. A number of the men have taken the opportunity to have a smoko break.
The caption under the photograph reads:
"No 1 Troop 3rd AMR.  Day before action at Tel-el-Saba, Beersheba."

The AMR Regiment moved from Fukhari on the 24th October 1917 and joined with the Brigade and the Australian Light Horse to make a sweep deep into the desert to launch a surprise attack from an easterly direction on the Turkish Forces defending the garrison town of Beersheba.

The Auckland Mounted Rifles were ordered to open the attack by taking the high ground of Tel el Saba on the morning of October 31st. Therefore this photograph was taken on the designated rest day the day before, 30th October.
It is probable that some men here were casualties the next day as 6 Aucklanders were Killed in Action and 22 wounded.


photograph: Corporal Albert Anderson - Turkish Palestine circa 1917
In his book "Devil's On Horses", Terry Kinloch writes:
The New Zealanders departed Esani at 5 p.m. on 28 October, bound for Khalasa. The men reached their destination at 9.30. After a day’s rest, the New Zealanders rode from Khalasa to Asluj, arriving at 9.30 p.m. on 29 October. Behind them, the Australian division rode to Khalasa. Allenby’s great concentration was complete by dawn on 30 October, which was a rest day for the 10,300 horsemen of the Anzac and Australian mounted divisions.

The full PDF image may be viewed HERE (237kb) - of special interest is the the Trooper third in top row who has a pair of protective sand goggles pushed up on his hat - the fore-runner of sunglasses that became popular in other later wars.
The camera used has a distorted lens and some of the men appear out of focus at each end.
As always the Association would be appreciative if any member of the public is able to recognise a Grandfather or relation.
"The A.M.R. suffered practically the whole of the brigade’s casualties, having held the post of honour. It lost six killed,
including Captain S. C. Ashton, and 22 wounded, including Lieutenant W. H. John, a Main Body man, who had been
promoted from the ranks. His injuries proved fatal. Captain G. S. Cheéseman assumed command of the 3rd squadron
upon the death of Captain Ashton."
"The Story of Two Campaigns - Nicol"

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS MOUNTED RIFLES STYLE

photograph: Trooper Fred Foote Collection - circa 1915
This photograph probably taken in the Nile Barrage delta area not far from the original NZMR Zeitoun Camp. Trooper Fred Foote purchases carrots fresh from the field from an Arab farmer to supplement his diet and to give his horse a tasty surprise. Obtaining fresh fruit and vegetables during training marches as the Brigade worked up after their arrival to Egypt, December 1914, was a delight for the men. They were always amazed that where ever the column was called to halt, excited vendors would appear seemingly out of nowhere to sell oranges, dates and cooked eggs.
"... Occasionally treks of two or three days’ duration were made through the pleasant areas made prolific by irrigation, and these long rides along the paths between the plots of luscious beersim, and through the groves of date palms, were times of placid content, and of rare value in giving the men a chance to study the Fellaheen as he is. One or two trips were made to the Delta barrage, where the horses were swum in the Nile."
"The Story of Two Campaigns" - Nicol

PROTECTING GAZA

photograph SAB collection - circa 1917 - duotone treatment 2011
The Turkish port of Beirut shelters a German U-boat as it bunkers fuel and arms before taking up her post patrolling the Sinai coast. German submarines had sunk Royal Navy and allied supply ships at the beginning of the Gallipoli Campaign. The British High Command became fearful that the pride of the Royal Navy, the giant Battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, sent to support the Gallipoli landings would be at risk. And after only firing 76 shells from her massive 15" guns in support of the Anzac landings, she was ordered to retreat, and was of little help to the attack.
By 1917 there were 8 German U-boats in the Eastern Mediterranean. These boats attacked with torpedoes and were also capable minelayers.
At Gaza, as the Desert Column emerged out of the desert to attack this vital seaport, the Royal Navy were again of little effect. The U-boat menace kept the fleet at bay. Both the first and second battles of Gaza resulted in heavy defeats to British Forces on both fronts.

On the night of 11th November 1917, Eastern Mediterranean, off Gaza, Palestine - the German coastal minelayer U-boat "UC.38" (Lt Hans Wednlandt) managed to evade the trawler patrol guarding the net defences at Deirel-Belah. Once inside she sank both "Staunch" and monitor "M-15", that were part of the British bombardment force off Gaza during the Allied attack. The UC.38 sailed away undamaged.

30th December 1917, Eastern Mediterranean off Alexandria, Egypt, HMS Attack was sunk by the German coastal submarine "UC.34". The "Attack" with most of their class were now in the Mediterranean as transport and convoy escorts. Although the Allied convoy sytem had been introduced it still lacked effectiveness and U-boats were taking a heavy toll. On the 30th, "UC.34" torpedoed and sank troopship "Aragon". As "Attack" rescued survivors, she either hit a mine laid by "UC.34" or was torpedoed. Casualties were heavy with 610 soldiers and sailors killed.


HUN IN THE SUN

this slide: Signatur: BayHStA, BS-Palästina 485

Südlich von Beerseba.
Left: Flying high in the Summer afternoon sky on the 13th July 1918 a German Reconnaissance Aircraft takes a large format photograph of the terrain below.
Now nearly a century later researches, historians and the general public can access this incredible picture and hundreds more like it thanks to the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bayern Main State Archive or SAB) of Germany. The official archive has released online an incredible resource of WW1 aerial military photographs.
Of special interest to the Association is the hundreds of images from the Sinai Palestine arena. I must thank Gal in Israel for his effort in researching the Archive and sending the links.
If ever there was a moment for a budding historian to dive in the deep end and do some wonderful research here is the starting point. There is so much material here that there has to be many points that have been missed in the past. Please send in your bit of detective work we would certainly publish it here on the site.

After spending about an hour going through several photos I was able to use the navigation controls (shown here under a master image) to seek out a point of interest on the desert floor.

Above: What am I looking at?: The blue rectangle inside the square box picture within picture represents the area magnified of the great sand mass south of Beersheba, 13th July 1918. On the right, the sun casts sharp shadow peaks onto the sand from military Bell Tents. Each tent set out within a grid pattern. To the left horses tied to horse line rows stretch out into the desert.
Follow the link here to the State Archive Bayerns (SAB) to begin your own search.
If the German language is not your strong suit, here is the formula to help you solve this problem, or indeed, any other foreign language website. Google is already looking after us.
Step one: Go to the webpage that I have written above, by clicking on the link.
Step two: Once at the site copy the URL (the address in the bar at the top) - Highlight - edit/copy.
Step three: go to Google home page and select "Translate" from the top left hand corner (web Images Maps News Books Translate Gmail)
Step four: In the box provided paste in the web address, then click "Translate" and "It's All Done!"


ALEXANDER'S RAG-TAG BAND

Photograph John Alexander Royal Engineers Anzac Division - 1916
The Irish Anzac, Major John Alexander was instrumental in the victory in the Sinai Desert in 1916. He along with his Engineers devised methods and innovative design to find and extract the elusive water from the great expanse of the Sinai.
We created a page on John Alexander last June, and a number of his tech drawings and photos are listed there. Today we have updated the page to carry another ten photos from the Major's Diary. The image above titled in his notebook "Number 5" shows another of the stocky pack horses the Engineers preferred to carry the heavy "Water Materials" across the sand. In a more forgiving countryside these animals could readily haul much heavier loads by cart, but the heavy restrictive traction of the undulating silt, sand and rock meant that Alexander and his men needed to design and make tack for the horses to carry the loads on their backs.
Besides the sturdy harness this horse wears a tassel corded fly-fringe on the bridle head to keep the flies from the eyes.