New Zealand also has its own cavalry tradition through the New Zealand Mounted Rifles who engaged in many sharp cavalry actions during the Boer War in South Africa and during the First World War in Palestine. Although New Zealand's role during the Great War at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in Europe is well known, the story of the Mounted Rifles in the Sinai and Palestine is not as well known.
The reality of the living conditions and fighting endured by the NZMR in the desert is also not well known. Nor are their significant achievements in preventing Germany's ally, the Turks, from seizing the strategically vital Suez Canal and Egypt (then a British Protectorate) also widely recognised.
1120 men from the NZMR were killed from 1914 to 1920 of which 821 were battle casualties. 2113 men were wounded. Up to an estimated 1500 horses were also casualties. Only 4 horses taken from New Zealand with the NZMR overseas were documented to have been returned to New Zealand after the war. The vast majority of those that survived were either shot by their riders (who saw this as a better option for their horses) or sold into a harsh and cruel life with the locals. Many of their descendants are working in the streets of Cairo and other parts of the Middle East today.
Order of the Boar recognises and honours the men and the horses of the NZMR through our portrayal of a 4 man NZMR section from the 9th (Wellington East Coast) Mounted Rifles. As a secondary portrayal of the NZMR, we can also portray them during the Boer War.
Our first portrayal of the NZMR was at the 2009 Classic Fighters Airshow at Omaka, Blenheim where we portrayed the original NZMR section formation, drills and tactics as part of the BlueBridge Great War scenario.
Since then we have been quietly working away accumulating both original and reproductions of the horse tack, uniforms and equipment used by the NZMR as well as refining our training in correct NZMR drills and field craft using original training manuals as our main resource. We took part in a number of events during the 2015 - 2018 Commemorations including a number of parades and functions around the lower North Island.
Our Display Offer for our Mounted Rifles team is to appear as a 2 rider team (given enough notice we can pull in additional riders for a 4 rider Section) and we can either just ride around your venue in costume, interacting with the public or we can put on a full-scale Mounted Rifles mounted skills display including Section Drills and Battle Drills using blank-firing .303 rifles (we have a Theatrical Endorsement to use forearms in public).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on our Mounted Rifles display.
(Wellington East Coast) Mounted Rifles
Major Battles of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles:
- The Gallipoli Campaign (1915)
- Romani (July/August 1916)
- Bir el Abd (August 1916)
- Magdhaba (December 1916)
- Rafah (January 1917)
- Gaza (March 1917)
- Beersheba (October 1917)
- Ayun Kara (November 1917)
- Nuhr el Auja (November 1917)
- Jericho (February 1918)
- Amman (April/May 1918)
These are the major actions that the NZMR took part in. There were other numerous raids and skirmishes.