comments from webmaster Steve Butler

"The Martin Ashton Eccles Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library."
Full Name: Martin Ashton Eccles
  Wellington Mounted Rifles
Serial No.: 11/1145
First Known Rank: Trooper
Next of Kin: Rev. Canon Eccles (father), Woodville, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Care of Mrs Pyke, Ranui, Manutuke, Gisborne, New Zealand
Military District: Wellington
Body on Embarkation: 5th Reinforcements
Embarkation Unit: Wellington Mounted Rifles
Embarkation Date: 13 June 1915
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Transport: HMNZT 24 or HMNZT 25 or HMNZT 26
Vessel: Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima
Destination: Suez, Egypt
Page on Nominal Roll: 208
Sources Used: Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume I. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1914-1919



21st Anniversary issue
penny and half-penny
stamps 1936.

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

NZMR 24th
Reinforcements Badge.

The NZMR uploads have to wait:
Life is like that - everything humming along nicely and next thing you are dumb enough to cartwheel over the gunnell onto the boat deck and break the bones in your wrist.
Besides being off work now for a number of weeks - I am struggling trying to type for the website and have been told to take it easy.

That's easy - buy a good book and enjoy the weather and a snooze - Mounted Rifles projects will be a little slower in the next week or two until the cast comes off.

NZMR member Terry Kinloch has recently had published his entertaining read on the life of the mounted soldiers of New Zealand during the desert campaigns of WWI - titled "Devils on Horses" now available to be shipped from Whitcoulls - Click here and enter the "title" to receive your copy now. Highly Recommended.

47281 Sergeant Alfred Ernest Kemp served with the 9th Wellington East Coast Mounted Rifles, Ernest (as he preferred to be called) grew up and joined the Mounted Rifles from his fathers property at Ruatoria, but the ancestral family home was well north in Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. Above left Ernest and his wife Dory stand on the porch of Kemp House (circa 1960) - the oldest European structure in New Zealand. Today a well patronised tourist attraction, along with the equally famous Stone Store, both built by missionaries when they arrived in New Zealand in 1819. Top right a computer coloured image of Ernest circa 1917. Below left, a Gallipoli Star, a Turkish medal of valour and one of many keepsakes the greater family keeps today. Below right the 9th Wellington East Coast hat badge. GO TO ERNEST'S STORY HERE.

Among the photographs sent in on Ernest Kemp (above) was this exceptional image of Nigel Robson's great uncle, a Quartermaster in the AMR. The photograph (the original sepia photograph below) showed off the uniform so well I decided to see what Leslie Buchanan would have looked like if the photograph had of been taken in a later world of Kodak color.




Leslie James Buchanan, Regimental No 13/2512 Born 6th February, 1892. Photographed at Schmidt Studios Auckland in his Quartermaster Sergeant's uniform of the 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles, July 8th 1915.
Leslie enlisted from the family home in Takapuna and departed New Zealand with the 8th Reinforcements on the 13th November 1915 on "SS Tofua", the same ship that Ernest was to board two years later.

The Power of the Search Engine. Auckland Museum has an online resource capable of tracking down the records of most soldiers that fought in the Great War. Above- This photograph taken in the Middle East of Trooper Joseph Topp and his horse "Bint" is an important momento of the NZMR. Joe wears a NZ Army leather jerkin, an item of clothing still issued by the army today. A collar badge of the CYC (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry) sits at the top of the form. A record file was easily obtained by entering the trooper's name HERE.

As I am led into the world of Military Badge Collections with Iain's wonderful range of NZMR Reinforcements badges, I am on a steep learning curve trying to do justification to this hobby that is strongly associated with the history of the Brigade that we are all trying to preserve.
Yesterday (Feb 7th) was my introduction into the world of "RD" numbers. We can see clearly on the right hand side of this 33rd Reinforcements Pegasus "High-tail" badge, the letters 'RD' (Registered Design), followed by the number 942. This number allowed the Army to recognise the manufacturer for quality control and reordering purposes.
As I gather further information over the variations of NZMR badges I am inviting collectors and members of the public to join this topic - "New Zealand Reinforcement Badges"
on our FORUM.

Pukman, (Iain), has forwarded a great selection of photographs from his impressive collection of NZMR badges.
Among the images that I have pledged to place on their own page is this grand bi-metal reinforcements hat badge of the prancing horse.
Information on the badges will need attention, as I have to admit to a limited knowledge of military badge collection - the variables within the Mounted rifles astounds me - however I look forward to e-mails about this badge, and others, as we post them.
By the number of bids on "World War II and earlier" heading on the 'Trademe' site, there are a lot of interested people in badges out there.

As I post this update (Feb 6th) I have been surprised at the number of Book Downloads that has taken place in the first five days of this month.
71 copies of "The New Zealanders at Gallipoli" and a further 112 copies of "The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine."
They have all been in the Auckland area and my wife (she who knows all and must be obeyed) believes that the school year has just begun and this will be the result of some schools who have designated the Mounted Rifles as a history assignment.- I hope she is right!
If indeed this observation proves to be correct then we extend to teachers and students a warm welcome to ask questions on our FORUM - we have a number of members who will be pleased to assist where we can.

The Enemy Makes Plans
Now and again we are lucky enough to come across a true gem of a photograph that leaps across time. This fantastic gelatin photograph has captured a desert meeting between the two senior Germanic leaders. It is twenty minutes to five in the late afternoon as Kress Von Kressenstein shows notes to the commander of the Austrian forces in Palestine, Baron Lager. Besides the travel clock showing the time, the camp table has an array of pens, note books, ink and ash tray. A clip of ammunition sits on papers. Of special interest is that both men wear wedding rings on their right hands - a tradition followed by Lutheran Church members. Top right: A German soldiers belt buckle inset with the German Imperial crown declares 'Gott Mit Uns', translating to: "God With Us"