Keeping the History for the next Generation.


A find in Granddad's old suitcase
The NZMR Rugby Team 1919, and members of the 11th NAMR pose for photographs.
Items such as these are rare finds, and in a sense belong to all of us.
These images come from the "Pat" Dunning collection that has been kept safe and
secure by Cheryl Tomich. Pat's daughter.
Click on the images to see larger format images.
(drag corners to increase size.)


5th Otago Mounted Rifles.
Badges and Medals can be
forever lost when families
shift house.

Hidden in the Attic

This page is a plea for all of us to be careful when we spring clean or move house.
The generation of soldiers who fought and survived the Great War of 1914 - !918 have now all died, and with them many of their keep sakes, letters, diaries and other memorabilia have been lost.
We are at a time when a following generation, who have kept their Father's treasured badges and medals, are also of an age where they are moving from family homes into rest homes and into smaller pensioner flats. In placing elderly family members in care we are in danger of disposing of our parents and grandparents "collections" without much thought.

Please be careful - Although the association would gratefully accept any finds of NZMR memorabilia to hold in trust, or display on permanent loan at an appropriate museum, you could also be losing money. If you are not interested in donating your find to us, we ask that you put such items in the public domain - you may well be very surprised at the monetary gains that can be found at the bottom of Granddad's suitcase.

Many items of the first world war are traded on internet sites - especially NZMR items can be seen traded daily on "Trademe". If you can't be bothered, or the internet trading looks a little complicated for you - allow the NZMR Association to sell on your behalf.
Items so addressed to the association will be tabled at an association meeting and then listed on Trademe on your behalf. What the association will be looking to do is acquire any NZMR items for itself to display to the public as part of our history - in sending such items to us a receipt will be issued to the sender by return post. Because the association is now aware of the item or items being offered for sale we will be in a position to bid on the said items on the open market - ensuring that you receive the market value and we hopefully are able to retain NZMR history.

AND THEN - there is another option - keep your old photos and letters, but allow others to share your family history. The Association is looking to keep a digital and electronic record across a wide spectrum of NZMR records. If you care to contact the association through this web site we can process your family photos et cetera and store them electronically. The photograph at the top of the page is such an item. The owners have allowed us to make a scan of their photograph in digital format so we are able to show the public an important part of our New Zealand and ANZAC history. If you would like to forward such information to the NZMRA we would process such records and return them to you by registered post. Then we have the best of both worlds. You have the original and we have an electronic record for researches and school children to process and study for future books and school projects.

The magic of modern computer enhancement
Right: This black and white photgraph of Trooper Edward Bently Davies Reg No 13/2554, Auckland Mounted Rifles, 8th Reinforcements NZMR.
Has been digitally colourised to let us see what a young Mounted Rifleman would have looked like in "Kodak" colour as war began in 1915.

New images processed from old black and white photographs. (Don't worry the originals are kept safe and untouched).
Above: a colour digitised image of Trooper Glass
3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles. Original photograph 1915.
Left: Sergeant Blanchfield 3rd Auckland Mounted Rifles - image from 1916, note straight shoulder tile and numeral 3.

Old Newspapers, books and postcards hold a wealth of information.
Below one of the thousands of cartoons published by the English journal "Punch" throughout the war.
MEHMED (reading dispatch from the All-Highest): "Defend Jerusalem at all costs for my sake. I was once there myself."
The camel responds:"Kismet".

Trooper 65129 PATRICK JAMES RABBITT, from kauana, of the 7th Southland Mounted Rifles, and his cousin, 65058 WILLIAM RABBITT, from clinton, of the 5th Otago hussars.

This beautiful crisp and clear photograph shows clearly the hat and collar badges of the native New Zealand mountain parrot, the Kea, representing the Southland Squadron that is worn by Patrick, seated. His cousin William wears the bi-metal shield badges of the Otagos. Close ups of the badges may be viewed HERE.

Right: Waikato Mounted Rifleman, 13/2041 Stuart William Gunton departed New Zealand with the 7th Reinforcements.
Thanks to son Malcolm who sent in the photograph of his dad who saw service at Gallipoli and Sinai Palestine.
Malcolm recalls that his father was like a lot of men from the period who didn't talk much of his days in the Great War. He remembers that he left from the Island of Lemnos to land at Gallipoli.

Son Malcolm went into the armed services himself, serving 37 years with the Royal New Zealand Air Force - his initial years as a fighter pilot during WWII.
Malcolm is like many New Zealanders in that he made the trip with a daughter to Gallipoli a few years ago.
"It was a moving experience"

A reminder to visitors and members. With modern graphic tools we can easily recover dramatic images from damaged and very small photographs. Many thousands of photos were taken with a small version Kodak cameras, and many families are unaware of the treasures they have stored away.
Left: the match book cover sized photo among Jack Baker's family collection was able to be enhanced and increased in size to ten times its original size.

Lets rescue them before they get lost or thrown out.

Right: photograph sucessfully transformed.
A mixture of New Zealand soldiers mass on the upper deck of a troopship while en route to
the Great War. The men watch a boxing match in the late afternoon sun. The soldiers wear an assortment
of head gear - traditional Infantry "Lemon Squeezers" and peaked Khaki hats along with a smattering
of Mounted Rifles wide brimmed hats.
"Photo Jack Baker Collection"