NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES
Papakura War Memorial

The township of Papakura lies south of Auckland city and the towns fine WWI Monument sits on the entrance of the main street leading into the shopping center.

The names of the fallen from this small rural district can be seen etched onto the sides of the plinth. Too many names it seems from such a small population, but that was the nature of the Great War.
One name deeply carved into the base is that of Auckland Mounted Rifleman, Farrier Sergeant Alfred Thomas Bates. (His name can be faintly made out here on the lower right of picture.)

It struck me as ironic that this young man from the local village of Pokeno where he was born has his name carved here forever in remembrance but that his body lies buried in a grave half a hemisphere away in the Kantara War Cemetery in Egypt.

I would have liked to post an image of Alfred, but alas at this time I can find none - perhaps one will surface now I have posted this.

Alfred departed New Zealand with the 7th mounted rifles reinforcements and arrived in the Middle East late in 1915. Later he was Killed in Action - along with 73 other Anzac troops - 30 being members of the NZMR, on the 9th August 1916 during the battle of "Bir el Abd".
Of this vicious and bloody desert Battle of Bir el Abd one trooper wrote:
"Chaps who had been on Gallipoli had not seen [action] hotter, I do not want to go through it again..."

Left: The Papakura War Memorial unveiled in 1921. Near by is the towns lovely Ernest Clarke Memorial Museum in East Street and is well worth a visit.