The New Zealand Mounted Rifles
The development of the Mounteds
since the Great War .

Scorpion Light Amoured Vehicle:
Scorpion's similar to the above became the light armoured mounts for the
new generation of mounted riflemen in the 1980's.

 

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The Waikato Mounted Rifles.

Click on image above to read
about the Waikato Mounteds
Today

4th WAIKTO MOUNTED RIFLES TROOPERS - ANZAC DAY 1939

Twenty one years had passed since the Great World War of 1914 - 18 had finished. Little did these troopers realise that a second World War was about to be declared in five months time.
Left to Right: Corporal J. Reeves. K.Little. D.Moore. McDill. N.Robertson. Gairn Robertson. Teed.
second: F.Walker. H.Headley. G.May. M.Ward. R.Croucher. N.Ward.

After the "War to end all Wars" had ended the nations of those participating were all to one degree or another spent. Spent in their losses of young men but also in money, resources and any will to stay armed. The hope for a continued peace began to fade even as early as 1930 and the world headed for a world economic depression.
New Zealand maintained a small regular force and a ill equipped and outdated territorial armed force - among them volunteers in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
With the declaration of WWII the men of the NZMR volunteered again for service abroad - this time though the horses were not sent - The Second World War was to become a mechanised war - and the Mounteds were to move from Horseback to trucks, motorcycles and tanks.

Here the two grandsons of 'Harry' Robertson, an original Auckland Mounted Rifleman who fought as a "Rough Ryder" during the Boer War 1899-1902 - Lance Corporal Gairn Robertson (seated center) and Norm Roberstson (front) wait in the street overnight outside the Auckland Recruiting Office the eve of New Zealanders enlisting for service in World War Two.
The boys were then 18 and 17 years old - They joined the New Zealand Divisional Cavalry and were off to Egypt with the First Echelon. Warfare had changed and horses were replaced by the motorised armies. Like their grandfather and father before them they would both become casualties of war, yet survive and return to New Zealand.

NZMR Home Defence during WWII
Most of the material we present on this website covers events of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles during World War One, but it is important to remember that our military mounted horsemen served both in the South African Boer War 1899 - 1902 and the Second World War of 1939 - 1945.

At the conclusion of the Great War 1914 -1918 it was obvious that with the invention of armoured Tanks and high performance Machine Guns the days of Mounted Riflemen and Cavalry as an attacking force were over.
However the horse was to play a major part in WW2 mainly as supply transport and as pack animals, freeing up mechanised transport for attacking forces. Mounted troops were used in a scouting capacity over rough mountainous terrain on the Eastern Front where mud and snow frequently immobilised tanks and trucks.

In New Zealand the NZMR continued to operate troops of horsemen for training and also to mobilise a Home Guard to patrol the long New Zealand coast.

The photos above and left are part of a double page photographic spread presented in "The Weekly News" number 4092, issued in Auckland, 29th April 1942. Titled "Mounted Rifles Part in N.Z. Defence".

Top: TWN "Using a horse as a rifle rest"
Right: TWN "A high-spirited horse rears up."



The Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles on point duty in Bosnia 1995.


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