NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

Comments from Steve Butler ■ Email contact
CHRISTCHURH FOUNDER AND THE ANZAC CONNECTION
All New Zealanders were shocked by the loss of life and the severity of the Earthquake that struck Christchurch at 12:51 on Tuesday last week (Feb 22nd). That so many people died in the collapse of buildings in the Central Business District on the lunchtime has brought about a sadness not experienced by a generation.
We as a nation have been astounded too by the world's response to our disaster. From many nations has come support in many forms, notable are the highly motivated and skilled Search and Rescue Teams and Police from across the globe. Grateful as we are to all participants, we applaud the quickness and number of personnel that were dispatched by our Australian cousins from across the Tasman. We understand and appreciate the brotherhood of Anzac that is still firmly entrenched in out two nations.
As Newspapers and Television report the disaster in detail that such a terrible event deserves, I wanted to look at what associations we are able to link to the earthquake and that of the Anzacs of WW1? - and we don't have to look far.
Among the all too graphic images of individual pain and building destruction was the image of the forlorn and broken remains of the statue of Christchurch's founding father - John Robert Godley. Flicked from its substantial granite plinth like a child's toy, the City's Mayor has moved that the icon should be repaired and reinstated back to its original position as quickly as possible.
John Godley headed Wakefield's New Zealand Company and set about building the colony of Christchurch on his arrival in 1850. However the Anzac link came about when his nephew, Alexander Godley, an Irish Guards Officer was selected because of his uncle's association with New Zealand to become New Zealand's Military Commander after the country moved to restructure the armed forces after the Boer War at the turn of the 20th Century.
Alexander John Godley was appointed to the post by Lord Kitchener and he arrived in New Zealand to take up his position in 1910. It was to be a five year appointment. However world events changed and Godley was given Command of the 1st NZEF and led the New Zealand Forces off to the Great War.
On the 25th April 1915, Godley along with his New Zealanders, and in common arms with Australian troops landed at Gallipoli - the Anzacs were born.

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.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 



THE BATTLE OF MAGDHABA
The Battle of Magdhaba has a special place in New Zealand military history. This successful action against Turkish Forces resulted in a number of milestones. This was to be General Edward Chaytor's first command of a battle, and his ability to adapt and control the action were signs of things to come. He led the NZMR Brigade, the 3rd Australian Light Horse, the Imperial Camel Corps supported by British Artillery in an attack that finally drove the Turks from Egypt forever. After the collapse of the fortifications at Magdhaba the Campaign in the Sinai Desert ended.
This was also the first action by the "Cameliers" (I.C.C.)
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Powles wrote:

"On arriving at a point about 2000 yards from the enemy position four enemy mountain guns and many snipers opened fire upon the advancing troops, but they pushed forward to a point 1600 yards from the enemy where they dismounted to attack on foot. But the advanced screen under a Wellington officer had pushed up to within 400 yards where they dismounted in a covered position. At noon the situation was as follows :— The New Zealanders were engaged with and had partially enveloped the enemy’s right; the 3rd L.H. Brigade was still held in reserve by General Chaytor, with the exception of the 10th L.H. regiment, under that well-known New Zealander of the 2nd contingent, Lieut-Colonel “Barney” Todd, D.S.O., which was engaged in making a wide turning movement to the south to intercept any retirement by the enemy. The I.C.C. was attacking direct on the village and the 1st L.H. Brigade was working on to the enemy's left by way of the wadi bed. At this time the fire from the enemy mountain guns and from his rifles and machine guns was very heavy, but the guns were very badly served and the small arms fire most inaccurate. As the attack developed, at 12.30, General Chaytor sent

in the 8th and 9th L.H. Regiments between the Wellington and Canterbury regiments, where there was a gap of some 800 yards
About 1 o’clock word was received that water could not be found at Bir Lahfan, which meant that there was no water for the horses nearer than El Arish, 30 miles away, and it was realised that the enemy was in a very strong position with redoubts well sited and fully manned.
Considerable doubt was felt therefore if the position could be taken before dark. But about 2 p.m. things began to improve; both 1st L.H. and N.Z. Brigades making progress—the 1st L.H. Brigade capturing some trenches and about 100 prisoners. By 3.30 p.m. the New Zealanders with fixed bayonets were swarming over the trenches to the east of the houses and the Turks were surrendering in all directions. At four o’clock General Chaytor was enabled to report that his men held the buildings and redoubts on the left and that the 10th L.H. advancing from the south had captured two trenches on that side, so that all retreat to the Turks was cut off. As darkness came on fighting had practically ceased and prisoners were rounded up and collected, and horses watered at the wells captured."
Note to Forum members. This is my first attempt to produce an animated battlefield map and I would like your input HERE.
I am worried about the bandwidth taken up by this animation, and although very small (1.1 Megs) I would like to know how long it takes for the page to load. Obviously your service provider and your plan are the key. Because of current Internet download speeds I have made the map very elementary in appearance and action to keep it to a small broadcast size. I must thank my son Karl for his assistance to me in the making of this animation. His company produces far more sophisticated work for Film and Television - but as he said - The Internet at the moment is a different medium with big working restrictions for animation.

SERPENT OF GLASS BEADS

photograph Steve Butler
Safely stored in the Kauri Museum's vault lies a beautifully coloured snake make from hundreds of glass beads.
The museum's Collection Manager, Betty Nelley, retrieves this unique Turkish Prisoner of War hand made souvenir from one of the many archive boxes stored at Matakoe in Northland.
Not content to sit idly by in British P.O.W. Camps, Turkish soldiers kept themselves busy making these beaded snakes in an entrepreneurial effort to sell to their guards a memento to take back to civilian life. The beads spell out on the underbelly of this item "Turkish Prisoner 1919".
The Kauri Museum usually brings out of storage items of Mounted Rifles memorabilia for display during April in support of Anzac Day.
A number of New Zealand households still retain one of these beaded snakes as family treasures.

SHOOTING TEAM 1915
NZMR Association member and Saddler, Donna Nobilo, sent in this photograph that appears a little worse for wear, the ravages of time have caused deterioration, however there is enough information to tell the story and thankfully now recorded digitally. We have a wonderful image to keep for posterity.
The description on the frame insert reads:
11th (North Auckland) Mounted Rifles, C Squadron Team, 1915.
Winners of Lord Roberts' Trophy and Otamatea Ladies' Shield.
Left to right: Pvt. Mosion, Sergt. Wallace, Lieut. Paton, Sergt. Wilkinson, Corp. Stanley.


Private Moslon is not recorded on the Nominal Roll, and may not have departed New Zealand during the hostilities.
Lieutenant Paton was 13/997 George Paton who departed New Zealand on the 13th June 1915 with the 5th Reinforcements with the rank of Sergeant. This reduction in rank was a common practice for men wanting to get to the front. Likewise a fellow North Auckland Mounted Officer, Lieutenant Harry Mackesy also took reduced rank to Sergeant to depart with the Main Body.
George Paton returned home during the war for more training after being promoted to Lieutenat in the field. He again returned to the Front on the "Moeraki" with the 36th Reinforcements on the 21st February 1918.
Sergeant Wilkinson was 13/2096 Robert Wilkinson of Mungatapere Northland, who survived the Great War. He departed to the Front with the 6th Reinforcements NZMR on the 14th August 1915.
Corp. Stanley, is either 13/857 John or his brother 13/858 Charles Stanley. Both men departed New Zealand as AMR Troopers. Both men survived the War.
The soldier second on the left was not so fortunate, he was:-
Full Name: Leslie Wallace
Rank Last Held: Sergeant
Serial No.: 13/174
First Known Rank: Corporal
Next of Kin: Thomas Wallace, Victoria, Mangonui
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Victoria Valley, Mangonui, 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: 752
Last Unit Served: Auckland Mounted Rifles
Place of Death: Egypt
Date of Death: 7 August 1916
Cause of Death: Died of wounds

photograph: New Zealand Weekly News 1916.
Most probably Les Wallace of the 11th Squadron AMR was wounded in action at QATIA (Katia) the 5th August, dying two days later.
The WAR DIARY of the Auckland Mounted Rifles for August 1916 records:

"5th August: PELUSIUM. The Regiment moved out from PELUSIUM with the Brigade at 0600 and furnished all protection on the march.
Arrived BIR EN NUSS 0730, where the 11th Squadron (less 1 Troop) and 2 Troops of the 4th Squadron rejoined the Regiment. Report by the O.C. 11th Squadron received at 0800 that 2/Lieut Allsop and 7 O/Rs were missing from Outpost at ABU RAML on the night of the 3rd Aug and believed to be prisoners of war.
The Regiment left NUSS with the Brigade at 1030 in the direction of QATIA. Verbal attack orders at 1400 to attack the S.W. corner of the Hod with the 3rd Light Horse on left flank, C.M.R. in reserve. The attack commenced at 1430, and as the 3rd L.H. Brigade did not come come up on our right. CMR Regiment took the right flank. The fighting throughout the afternoon and at 1800 the 11th Squadron were withdrawn from the position held by the Regiment and sent to the right flank to reinforce the C.M.R.. Orders to withdraw received by the G.O.C. Force at 1900 and rendezvous at a point 2 miles W on the QATIA - DUIEDAR ROAD. Lieutenant Johnson and 12 men (3rd Squadron) remained at QATIA as listening post. On arrival at the rendezvous point the Brigade moved back to KATIB GANNIT arrived at 2330 and bivouacked for the night.
Casualties: Wounded in Action.
2/Lt T Dale-Taylor
2 O/Rs 3rd Squadron
4 O/Rs 11th Squadron
Lieutenant O.P. Johnson promoted to Captain, vice Captain J.J. Raynes seconded dated 27-6-16.
Captain J.J. Raynes returned to New Zealand on duty and to SECONDED dated 27-6-16.
Captain O.P. Johnson posted to NZMR Training Regiment and seconded 27-6-16.
2/Lieutenant W.H. Coates returned from Hospital dated 4-8-16.
[…end of excerpt from AMR War Diary 5th August – Diary continues on 6th August 1916, see archive.]


Note: Lieutenant Tom Dale-Taylor mentioned in the diary entry above was also to die of his wounds (D.O.W.) later in a Cairo Hospital.

CORPORAL MITCHELL AND FRIEND

photograph Corporal Albert Anderson NAMR - circa 1918 - duotone treatment 2011
Auckland Mounted Rifleman, Corporal J. Mitchell presents his immaculately prepared mount to camera after a camp inspection in Turkish Palestine 1918. The horses are in top physical condition and coats shine with a lustre revealing the effort put in by the troops to keep their steeds healthy and fit for action in the harsh climate.
Although the photograph is not dated, the white and red regimental colour flash seen attached to the pugaree of the hat band gives a time frame in which the image was taken. These colours were issued late November 1917 before the attack on Beersheba, and worn by all units for the remainder of the War.

Corporal J Mitchell is one of the following four men who served with the Auckland Mounted Rifles:
13/2595 Cyril James Mitchell,
13/3050 James Porteous Mitchell,
13/207 John William Mitchell,
or 13/2596 Joesph Peters Mitchell. Joesph is the most likely of the men as he hailed from Kohukohu in the far north, and probably known pre war to the photographer Albert Anderson also from the far north. The other men were from Auckland city and south.
Further information relating to the identification of this man would be appreciated.


FUNERAL FOR A PILOT

photograph SAB - June 1918 - duotone treatmeant 2011
Senior Turko-German Officers parade for the funeral of pilot, Lieutenant Baron ( Leutnant Freiherr) von Künsberg. The officer has his named inscribed on memorial at Jenin for German Pilots, and records his death as - Gef(fallen) 8. 6. 1918.
Von Künsberg was a member of the 304b (Bavarian) Flying Section sent to Palestine in support of her Turkish Allies. The 304 carried out attacks on ground troops but its main objective was to photograph and record troop movements of advancing British Forces.
At the latter stages of the war the Wing was station near Amman and tracked the advance of "Chaytor Force", the Anzac and multi-national force, under New Zealand General Edward "Fiery Ted" Chaytor. The 304 retreated from the Amman area early September 1918 as Chaytor Force preparred to capture the City on the 25th. A few days later the Australian Light Horse and supporting British Force defeated the Turks at Aleppo and the War in the Middle East was over.
Photographs of crashed German aircraft of the 304th including the wreckage of von Künsberg's bi-plane have been archived at the SAB archives in Germany, but is unclear whether von Künsberg died during a landing mishap or otherwise, as this photograph describes this funeral as "von Künsberg and Driver (Kraftfarher)".
Of special interest is the broken wooden propeller blades erected in the shape of a cross for previous victims.
Look forward to any reader being able to update the background to this man.

Further Update (11th Feb 11):
The ever informative Bill Woerlee comments:

Leutnant Rüdiger Freiherr von Künsberg was born in Munich, 20 February 1898.
He was a pilot with Flieger Abteilung (FA) 303. He was shot down over Tul Karem on 8 June 1918 by Arthur Davey Gledhill, No 111 Sqn RFC, with his Nieuport 17c Registration Number B1681.

Right:
Jenin Memorial for German Pilots
(location south of Nazareth)

Further comment:
We now see that there is an error of records between SAB archives and that of the Jenin Memorial. One lists the pilot as being from the 304b (Flying detachment) while the other states 303.


AUCKLAND INFANTRY BOOK LAUNCH

Photographs supplied RNZAF photographs - January 28th 2011
Above center: Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell, 3rd Auckland and Northland Battalion Group, with former Governor General, Auckland Mayor, and Honorary Colonel of the Auckland Infantry Regiment, Dame Cath Tizard, proudly present "Auckland Infantry" at the book launch on Friday the 28th January.
This comprehensive publication is a major work covering the history of the Auckland Infantry from its earliest beginnings to the present day.
After the presentation of the Colours and formal speeches the guests were treated to an excellent spread and entertainment from the Regiments musicians and staff. Unfortunately the approach of a tropical cyclone meant that the courtyard outside that had been prepared with the Army's display of LV's was awash with torrential rain. As one old soldier was overheard to comment: "Better to stay in here and get wet on the inside."

Among the guests were the book's authors, Peter Cook, John Gray and Ken Stead.
The book sales table was busy with helpers who gladly processed credit cards details in exchange for the heavy volume. Hovering nearby was Air Force W/O Marty Fitchett, the grandson of Lieutenant Wilfred Fitchett who departed New Zealand for the Great War with the Main Body as a Trooper and a Mounted Rifleman, and later obtain his commission as a member of the Auckland Infantry Regiment.
Also present was author and historian Richard Stowers - members will agree his book "Waikato Troopers - history of the Waikato Mounted Rifles" is a must have when researching the NZMR.



Copies of "AUCKLAND INFANTRY" are available through the 3rd Auckland and Northland Regimental Association website.

Book promo and order form downloadable HERE

The history of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade is heavily involved with that of the Auckland Infantry. Troops from the Mounted Rifles were engaged in many actions on Gallipoli with the Auckland Infantry Regiment in 1915. But a much closer association was to develop by way of an obscure route - many of the NZMR who were considered severely wounded or sick were sent on to Malta Hospitals rather than being returned to Egypt for treatment. Were further specialised treatment was needed these men were transferred to hospitals in England. Those that recovered were sent to Hornchurch were the majority were then sent to bolster the Infantry in Europe. Hundreds of Auckland Mounted Riflemen were to serve their second campaign as Infantrymen with the Auckland Infantry Regiment.