4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles squadron

4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles squadron

Collar and cap badges

The cap and collar badges for the 4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles. Cap badge: a kaka within a wreath of kowhai leaves and blossoms. Collar badges: a kaka over the Regimental motto.

Motto: Libertas et Natale Solum (Liberty and Homeland)

The 4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles Regiment was officially raised on 17 March 1911. It was one of 12 regionally based mounted rifles regiments formed as part of the new Territorial Force (TF) organisation that came into existence on that day. This part-time Territorial Force and a tiny regular force of professional soldiers formed the basis of New Zealand’s army at the outbreak of the First World War.

Instead of mobilising the TF, however, the government decided to raise a separate force to send overseas to fight – the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). In 1914 the new mounted regiments of the NZEF were given provincial names corresponding to the military district in which they were raised – Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury or Otago. This gave them some sense of regional identity.

The NZEF mounted regiments were instructed to affiliate each of the three squadrons under their command with a TF mounted rifles regiment from their military district, and to issue the regiment’s badge to the squadron. The idea was to foster linkages with the established TF regiments that were not being sent overseas. So the badge of the 4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles Regiment, TF, was worn by the 4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles Squadron of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, NZEF, throughout its service in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

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R. Efford

Posted: 13 Apr 2015

Saturday 11th April 2015.
Two Troopers came to Thames to be apart of the WW1 commemorative parade and display at the Thames Race Course. I was proud to watch the "tank" and unimog driving through our streets.
The two Troopers' interaction with the crowd at the display was commendable. No-one was too old or too young to be given 'time' to.
These soldiers are a credit to our country.
Thank you NZ Army for allowing their input and the 'loan' of the vehicles for a most memorable day.