comments from webmaster Steve Butler

Visitors to the website will have read Michael Smith's article on General Chaytor that is posted HERE. Now readers have the opportunity of understanding this incredible man from his travels from the sheep stations of the South Island to the battles of the Boer War and the exploits of the British Army in the East during World War One. Michael's new book is a must have!
Fiery Ted was the only New Zealand General to lead a Division during the First World War. His exploits leading the Anzac troops are the records of ledgend.



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

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

NZMR 24th
Reinforcements Badge.

CLICK on the Cameliers Badge to see the new "Slideshow" of the Jack Baker Collection of the ICC

Visitors to our Forum will remember the collection of photographs of the "Cameliers" that Jack Baker found in an old family draw. As I posted each image on the discussion board there was a good deal of interest from everyone, as any material relating to the ICC is very rare to say the least. - Well I have been promising myself I needed to do a special display of the thirty odd images - and as from today they are available by clicking on the badge above.
Copy still needs to be added to most of the images, but I wanted to run all the code to make sure the slide show was operating properly.

The Cameliers badge I have used above is from Iain (forum name Pukman) who sent in the photograph of his latest purchase on the internet. I understand there has been mumbling in the house about old bits of brass costing the same price as a new widescreen TV!!

(5th May08) 13/453 Trooper Edwin (Jack) Shepherd 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles.
Horses from the Auckland Mounted Rifles of number one troop cross the Barrage Delta during training, Egypt April 1915.

I am continually being surprised by the material that is offered to the Association almost on a weekly basis. However the quality and amount of material supplied yesterday has left me speechless. Margaret Shepherd has kept everything her father sent back from the Great War, and the wealth of information within letters, postcards and diaries is quite frankly - amazing.
It will take me some time to scan the 57 separate photographs. Most of which arrived in New Zealand as postcards, and contain written messages on the reverse of each one. Further letters number about twenty - but the Gallipoli Diary is a full catalog of events worthy of national record.
What I have noticed over the years, is that letters and tales from soldiers who fought at Anzac come from men who were previously wounded, or sick, and hospitalised prior to August 7th 1915. Unfortunately those who were fit and in the trenches on that night of the 7th were destined to take part on the breakout attack on Chunuk Bair. As we are all aware this was a disaster and the men involved died in their thousands. For the Auckland Mounted Rifles there was a huge cost of men. There are hardly any first hand accounts from soldiers who took part in that attack. Too many tombstones on Galliploi have the inscription "August 8th 1915". Jack Shepherd was one of the very few to climb the heights and come back to tell the tale.
He writes in his diary:
"...We had to stand up in the open and were mown down by machine guns and shrapnel. What was left of the AMR retired from the firing line about midnight. None of our officers were left and only a few men were alive..."
Above: The colourised photo of Jack was taken while convalescing in England, November 1915. The photo postcard on the right he sent home early in the year, and has written on the back:
"Another view of operations at Barrage Delta. Horses being swam by means of an endless rope. Number one Troop horses at present in the water. One of these horses very nearly got drowned owing to his getting tangled up in the rope. We stayed at Barrage three days and I don't think one will find a prettier place than it. - I remain Yours Affect Bro - C.W. Shepherd - Zeitoun 7/4/15"
Click HERE for Jack on his horse.
The following month they were in bitter fighting on Gallipoli.


(3rd May 08) - In September last year RNZAF Flight Sergeant Marty Fitchett took the time out to forward the fascinating records and story of his Grandfather, Wilfred Fitchett. I intend to post Wilfred's story later in the week on the "Troopers Stories" page but in the meantime here is a little of the story..
Marty wrote:
"Wilfred was 23 at the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914 and enlisted with his horse in the Auckland Mounted Rifles with the main body as trooper No 13/329 in August of that year. He departed New Zealand in October 1914 for Egypt and ultimately from there the Gallipolli campaign in 1915."

So begins the two stories, one of Wilfred and the other of his horse "Lancewood". Both of them arrive in Egypt together but are first parted by the Gallipoli Campaign, and then forever when Wilfred is sent to Europe where he fought in many of the major battles including Armentieres, Messines and the bloody battle of the Somme.  It was there that he was promoted to Lieutenant in a battlefield commission and received a “mentioned in dispatches” from Lt General Sir Douglas Haig.
Meanwhile in Egypt Lancewood’s new rider was trooper Ted Grant. Lancewood went East with the regiment into the Sinai in March 1916 and was involved in many battles across that peninsular from the Suez through to Beersheba, Jerusalem and Jericho. On the 21st of March 1918 Lancewood was with Chaytor force that crossed the Jordan to push north into Amman. On the 1st of April 1918 Trooper Ted Grant went out on a scouting patrol on Lancewood to try to locate some Turkish units when he was surprised by a Turkish machine gun post and both rider and horse were killed.


The Australian Military put on a splendid display at the unveiling of the new memorial statue in Beersheva (Israel) on the 28th April. RSM Kevin Foster (inset) was our "man on the ground" taking a splendid array of photographs of the occasion. Kevin was part of a small New Zealand Army contingent there in support of their fellow Anzacs on this special day.
The memorial depicts a Light Horseman hurdling perimeter defences during the heroic charge of the Australian Light Horse on the Turkish held township of Beersheba in 1917.
Kevin's photographs HERE
(NOTE page contains 3 megs of photographs - broadband use only)
Kevin commented: "we did our own salute at the end, with a very stirring Haka".

This week I would like to give a wholehearted welcome to Dr. Don Mackay.(29th april 08)
Don became a NZMRA member early this month after being told of our Association by a colleague who directed him to our website. Don's recently published book "The Fallen" was released late 2007.
Don is a fifth-generation Southlander who lives near Riversdale. A history graduate from the University of Otago, his PhD examined the political aftermath of the Gallipoli Campaign. He has visited the Gallipoli landing site a number of times and was recently a guest speaker at the CWGC in London.
"The Fallen" was written and published for the Riversdale-Waikaia Returned and Services Association, Gore, New Zealand and funded by Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.
Written by Don as a tribute to the local men of Riversdale and district who died during the wars of the twentieth century, this book is more than that, it reflects the tragic events experienced by each and every small town across the whole nation who lost their young men to war. This is not a book on tactics, map references or Generals. These pages are individual cameos on the life of good men, and the greater communities that still miss them.

On a personal note I am ever so pleased that we have a new member from the Otago Mounted Rifles district. I have little information on the OMR - a subject we need to have posted here on our site. Along with Don, I bemoan the fact that no official history of the Otago Mounted Rifles was ever printed. I also hope that other "Men from the deep South" will send in more material on the Otagos. (I intend to post the availability of this book here in the near future).

Also today a rare and second view of the "ANZAC Memorial" has come to hand. this memorial was destroyed during the rioting in Egypt in 1956 - I have created a large PDF image HERE (only 260kps) to download - it is interesting comparing the two sculptures - the original and then the two copies now in Austrlia.

Don Mackay and Keith Scott are authors who have recently written about soldiers from Southland and Otago. Listen to Don's interview: RADIO NEW ZEALAND AUDIO LINK HERE

Listen to ANZAC Day broadcasts. Visit: RADIO NEW ZEALAND ANZAC Day site