Regimental Identification Badge The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regimental Identification Badge

“The Weekly Press:’ September 9, 1914.

BACK ROW: Captain Hastings, Lieutenant Davis, Captain W.J. Hardham, V.C., Lieutenants. Janson, Sommerville, Batchelor, Mayo, Risk, James, Captain Spragg, Lieutenants. Mansell, Emerson, Georgette, Joll, and Cameron.
FRONT ROW: Major Chisholm, Major Dick, Lieutenant-Colonel Meldrum, Captain. Kelsall, Major Chambers.


Lieutenant-Colonel Meldrum

2nd Wellington
West Coast

6th Manawatu

9th Wellington
East Coast

The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment was formed on the 8th day of August, 1914 and it concentrated at Awapuni Racecourse on the 12th, its composition being three squadrons, the 2nd Queen Alexandra’s Wellington-West Coast Mounted Rifles, the 6th Manawatu Mounted Rifles, and the 9th East Coast Mounted Rifles.
The other units which concentrated at Awapuni were.—

The Wellington Infantry Battalion,

the New Zealand Field Artillery,

Field and Signal Troops of the New Zealand Engineers,

Company of Divisional Signallers, and the Mounted Field Ambulance.

The establishment of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment (including attached troops) was as follows:

26 officers, 1 warrant officer, 37 staff sergeants and sergeants, 22 artificers, 6 trumpeters, 457 rank and file—making a total personnel of 549.

Horses (including attached) : 528 riding, 74 draught, 6 pack—total, 608.

The attached were: Medical officer, one veterinary officer, one artificer, three other ranks, 18 horses (including 14 for interpreters’) and four bicycles. A chaplain with batman was also included. The above does not include Base details.

The full strength of each of the three squadrons was as follows:

Six officers, 10 staff sergeants and sergeants, six artificers, two trumpeters, 134 rank and file total, 158. Horses: 153 riding, 14 draught, 2 pack total, 169.

The Machine-Gun Section comprised: One officer, one sergeant, 25 rank and file.

Horses: Riding 20, draught 16: and two guns with the necessary transport.

The personnel of the Regiment was complete in a few days, and all ranks quickly accustomed themselves to camp life at Awapuni. Here the troops were equipped, horses were selected. and steady training was carried out under efficient instructors, the majority of the latter being members of the New Zealand Staff Corps.


The Officers of the Regiment were as follows:

Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel W. Meldrum 6th (Manawatu) Regiment, (in command),

Adjutant-Captain V. A. Kelsall, Quartermaster-Captain A. H. Wilkie, Signal Officer-Lieutenant R. Logan,

Machine-gun Officer-Lieutenant H. T. Palmer, Attached Major P. M. Edgar, N.Z. Veterinary Corps,

Captain H. J. McLean, N.Z.M.C., and Major W. Grant, N.Z. Chaplains’ Department.

2nd Squadron
Major J. Elmslie (in command), Captain W. Hardham, V.C. (second in command), Lieutenants W. Jansen,

T. P. James, W. Risk, and B. F. Joll.

6th Squadron
Major C. Dick (in command), Captain W. F. Hastings (second in command), Lieutenants J. Sommerville,

H. P. Taylor, J. B. Dais, and G. P. Mayo.

9th Squadron

Major S. Chambers (in command), Captain C. R. Spragg (second in command), Lieutenants W. D. Cameron,

P. J. Emerson, H. B. Maunsell, and A. F. Batchelar.


Lieutenant C. Watt was in charge of the 1st Reinforcement draft.

The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment in New Zealand before departure to the front.

The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment at Awapuni Racecourse 8th August, 1914

A combination of fortunate circumstances combined to make the camp a pleasant one, the executive of the Palmerston North Racing Club having placed their grounds and buildings at the disposal of the troops; the spacious dining rooms of the grandstand were utilised as messes for the N.C.O.’s and other ranks, the officers dining in the Racing Committee’s room adjacent.
The keen enthusiasm of the men to perform their duties thoroughly, and their buoyant spirits under all conditions, enabled them readily to assimilate the sound instruction imparted. Their conduct was exemplary throughout, in consequence of which liberal leave was allowed, the evenings being free for those who were not required for necessary duty.


Above: a section of the photograph taken by F.J. Denton, a photographer from Wanganui - pre departure to war, August/September 1914.
Second Row: Sgt. Jago (of Jago's Post fame), Cpl Burson, Sgt. W.E. Morgan, Lt. Risk, Lt. James.
Front Row: K McDonald, A. Alcock, R. Blackbourne.

Affectionately nicknamed the "Well and Trulies" by their Australian Light Horse contemporaries, the Wellington Mounted Rifles were made up of three squadrons. Photographed here are the Officers and men of the QAMR Squadron (Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles) assembled under their banner of the Squadron Guidon.

You may view the full complement of men HERE - note this larger file is 395 kbs.

Back Row: B. Dean, W. Watt, C. Campion, F. Bailey, M. Beal
Forth Row: Cpl Little, G. Seaton, G. McClean, Cpl Addenbrooke, H.J. James, L.R. Badderley, H. Addenbrooke, ? Burnett, F. Corrie, W.C. Morgan, F. Badderley, W. Bason, J. Moore, H. Thopson, S. Sommerville, T. Wilson, Cpl C. Lynch, C. Rive
Third Row: Tpr D. Ross, LCpl King, Tpr F. Robinson, C. Baldwin, R. Mason, H. Battes, S. Major, R. Gray, Cpl G. Patterson, Buglar Gilmore, Tpr C. Hammond, G. Abercrombie, J. Ansell, J. Lynch, L. Lynch, W. McWilliam, L. Simpson
Second Row: Sgt K. Howie, Sgt Jago, Cpl Burson, Sgt W.E. Morgan, Lt Risk, Lt James, Major Edgar, Major Elmslie, Lt J. Sommerville, Sgt Major Dunham, Sgt Pye-Smith, Cpl P. Fletcher, Tpr W. H. Smith
Front Row: K. McDonald, A. Alcock, R. Blackbourne, Lt W.M. Janson, K. Langlands, S.J. Morgan, L. Fitzmaurice, F. Capon.

From the "Evening Post", Volume LXXXVIII, Issue 78, 29 September 1914, Page 8


The Wellington. Canterbury, and Otago sections of the Main Expeditionary Force now in Wellington are rapidly settling down to hard work again.
Both yesterday and to-day were occupied by the mounted units in getting into camp at the various places arranged round about the city, while the dismounted units, notably the infantry battalions which are quartered on the troopships, have been kept hard at work in route marching and drill. The troops quartered in the various encampments are as follows :—
At Trentham. — Headquarters Mounted Rifles Brigade, 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron and 10th (Nelson) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, two troops of the 6th (Manawatu) Squadron, and the 9th (Wellington East Coast) Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles . Regiment. Total, 750 officers and other ranks.

At Hutt Park. — Headquarters Machine Gun Section and Queen Alexandra's 2nd (Wellington West Coast) Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, Signal Troop New Zealand Engineers, and the whole of the Field Artillery Brigade, comprising headquarters, three batteries, and ammunition column. Total about 650 officers Mid other ranks.

At Miramar.— Headquarters, machine gun section, 7th (Southland) Squadron and 12th (Otago) Squadron of the Otago Mounted Rifle Regiment. Total, 450 officers and other ranks.

At Seatoun. — 5th (Otago Hussars) Squadron of the Otago Mounted Rifle Regiment. Total, 200 officers and other ranks.

At Lyall Bay - Headquarters, machine gun section and Ist (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifle Regiment, and two troops of the 6th (Manawatu) Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment. Total, 350 officers and other ranks.

At Alexandra Barracks. — Field Troop New Zealand Engineers and Army Service Corps attached to the Mounted Field Ambulance. Total, about 150 officers and other ranks,


Although the troops have been brought ashore, and are likely to remain in Wellington for some little time, the headquarters of the expedition are still being maintained on the flagship, the Maunganui. The Expeditionary Force is now entirely detached from the New Zealand Defence Forces, and the headquarters of the Expeditionary Force will accordingly be maintained on the Maunganui till the arrival of the vessel in England.


Major-General Sir Alexander Godley, officer commanding the expedition, will leave for Auckland on Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday will inspect the troops in camp there.

Over 900 men, with their horses and equipment, disembarked from the troopships Orari and Athenic this morning, and proceeded to Trentham, where they will go into camp to-day. A small advance party under Captain Powles visited the scene of the camp yesterday morning for the purpose of making preliminary arrangements, and to-day all is in readiness to receive the troops. The camp is situated on the area of land in the middle of the racecourse, and the basement of the grandstand is being used for dining purposes. The water supply is provided by the racecourse reservoir, while the horses will be watered at the Hutt River. The full strength of the camp will be 39 officers and 883 other ranks, and about 1000 horses. The arrangements regarding the daily routine have not, yet been made, though it is understood training will be practically on the same lines as at Palmerston North.

General Godley, Officer Commanding the Force, hopes to assemble the whole of the 6000 troops in Wellington early next week for the purpose of holding field manoeuvres. These will be spread over three days, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and should afford the troops valuable training, teaching them the necessity for co-operation in the field. The area over which the battle is to be fought has not yet been fixed, but the public will be advised well before hand so that those who wish to witness the manoeuvres will have an opportunity of doing so.


Arrangements have now been completed for providing nightly entertainments for the troops in the big U shed (opposite H.M.S. Psyche), so kindly placed by the Wellington Harbour Board at the disposal of the Defence authorities. The entertainments, which will be
run under the designation of the " Garrison Vaudeville Show," will be commenced this evening, and will be given nightly so long as the troops are in port, lasting from 7 to 9 o'clock each evening. A fresh programme will bo presented on each occasion, and some exceptional talent has been promised, the Messrs. Fuller, the Wellington Salvage Club, the Wellington Orphans' Club, and the Boxing Association having agreed to co-operate in the undertaking. The admission for soldiers and sailors in uniform will be free, while civilians will be charged 1 shilling, the proceeds being devoted towards the Patriotic Fund! The shed has seating accommodation for 3000, and a special stage has been erected by the City Council free of charge.

The Wellington Mounted Rifles departed New Zealand with the Main Body NZEF that sailed from Wellington 14th October 1914.