comments from webmaster Steve Butler

[2nd June 08] Posting today the Diary of Trooper Jack Shepherd.
Jack sailed with the Main Body from New Zealand to Egypt in 1914 and landed on Gallipoli with the Mounted Rifles in May 1915. His candid expressions of life in Egypt and Gallipoli with the NZMR is a history lesson in miniature. His short sometimes cryptic notes are a reflection of life in the trenches against a capable foe. Disease, wounds and death arrive between mundane periods of repetitive sap digging and boredom - the only solace is to grab an opportunity to bathe and swim in the Mediterranean, even here the sniper makes life difficult - and like always a man must take his chances.
Part of the continuing scanning and transcribing of Jack Shepherds photos letters and diary that has come to hand in this last few weeks. READ IT HERE.
[Pages being added daily]



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

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

NZMR 24th
Reinforcements Badge.

This amazing find is part of the continuing collection I have been scanning and cleaning up from the Jack Shepherd collection of photographs and letters. Jack is seen kneeling second from left. Why this is such an especially good find is that Jack gave this photograph to his Grandmother, writing information on the reverse.
" To Grandma from Jack - J. Fothingham. H. Holt. F. Marsh. J. Fox. G. Garland. O. L. Farrelly.
C. Gillanders. E. W. [Jack] Shepherd. E. J. Williams. V. Gillanders.
4th Waikato Mounted Rifles. Epsom Military Camp - September 11th 1914."

For these young men the great overseas adventure was just beginning - they hoped they would get to Europe before the war finished without them. The reality of Gallipoli and other theatres of the conflict meant otherwise - many would not return home.
The following month from when this photograph was taken, 2,143 soldiers and 891 horses of the Auckland Mounted Rifles boarded the "Star of India" and the "Waimana" troopships and with their escorts, HMS Phillomel and the Japanese warship "Ibuki", sailed down the Waitemata for 'ports unknown'.

Note: Cross references on the site would lead me to believe that the trooper standing fifth from the left is Grev Garland - we have his story on the Troopers Histories page. And on reading the newspaper cutting placed on that page, it would seem that both Grev Garland and the man standing next to him, O.L. Farrelly were mentioned in dispatches during attacks at Gallipoli between the dates of May 6th and June 23rd 1915. The report goes on to say that O.F. Farrelly had since been killed in action. (Initials O.F. is a misprint in the newspaper clip - the Cenotaph data base records Trooper 13/334 O.L. [Oliver Lawrence] Farrelly was KIA on the 8th August 1915.)
Also recorded is that Trooper 13/389 Fredrick George Marsh was also killed during the same attack of the 8th. Twenty days later, 13/335 Trooper James Fotheringham was killed in action, also on Gallipoli. To think that three men here would be dead within the year - and four others hospitalised with wounds and disease. [posted 28th may 08]
Photographs that have been sitting patiently for many months in my "Action" folder have now been uploaded onto our site. The photographs were sent down by the Kauri Museum at Matakohe late last year, and are now included into an interactive Photo Gallery display.
These wonderful photographs from the NAMR's past are a joy to present. (Everyone of you must visit the Kauri Museum - the displays of our early history presented there are a delight).
Our thanks to:
Betty Nelley - Collections Manager
Michael Lawton - Pictorial Archivist


Niki Francis is a New Zealander living in Belgium. Last week she became a member of the Association, and we welcome her into the NZMR fraternity. Already her input is invaluable as I was pleased to receive from her record references and a photograph of one of her family members.

I have reproduced the photograph of her Great Uncle "Tui" (right) in a computer colourised form.
Niki's family, the Haswells, sent SIX brothers to the Great War - Three brothers went with the Auckland Mounted Rifles - they were Drummond Sinclair Haswell, Charles Henry (Harry) Haswell, Hugh Gordon (Tui) Haswell.
Niki added in her email:
Both Drummond and Harry served at Gallipoli and Egypt but Tui (HughGordon) didn't enlist until December 1915 so went straight to Egypt.
The other three brothers were in the Veterinary Corps (Western Front), the Rifle Brigade (don't know where - can't seem to find his military file) and in the navy.

Sadly, Tui was "KIA" Killed in Action in the attack on Ayun Kara, November 14th 1917- Lieutenant Colonel James McCarroll led the action against the heavily defended enemy trenches in a mounted attack in Turkish Palestine, near what is today the Israeli township of Richon le Zion. The Colonels transcribed diary pages relating to the battle are HERE. scroll down to November 1917.

13/3161 Trooper Hugh Gordon Haswell, was with the 11th Reinforcements, A Squadron, Auckland Mounted Rifles and died in the action at Ayun Kara on 14 November 1917. He is buried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.
"Lest we Forget".

Visitors to the website will have read Michael Smith's article on General Chaytor that we have had posted HERE (Michael's link is at the bottom of the page) . Now readers have the opportunity of understanding this incredible man in his development from shepherd boy on a large sheep station in the South Island to the Colonel during the battles of the Boer War. Here we can continue through with his exploits with the British Army on Gallipoli an on through the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns during World War One. All recorded with depth and understanding by Michael Smith in his new book "Fiery Ted".
"Fiery Ted" exploits with the Anzacs are now the records of legend.
This is an in depth view Of Edward Chaytor and the Anzacs of the Mounted Regiments and is the first account of the General's endeavours since the New Zealand governments official records published directly after the war in 1920. Here is a revised history we dare not forget.
Fiery Ted Anzac Commander. is 364 pages, hard covered, 17 photos, three maps and available from the 2 Cants UPF for $35.

General Edward Chaytor's actual submitted report on the events at ROMANI 1916 - This PDF download is 2 megs in size - The pages reproduced here have been taken from file AWM252 held in Canberra's Australian War Memorial Museum - My thanks to Bill Woerlee in making this report available

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.