8th (South Canterbury) squadron

8th (South Canterbury) squadron

Collar and cap badges

The cap and collar badges for the 8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles. The cap badge shows the Earl of Ranfurly’s Coat of Arms and Crest with the collar badges just showing his Crest.

Motto: Moveo et Profitor (By my actions I am known).

The 8th (South Canterbury) 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 8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles, TF, was worn by the 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, NZEF, throughout its service in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

The horses of the 8th (South Canterbury) Regiment New Zealand Mounted Rifles that died are commemorated in a memorial at Birch Hill Station in Canterbury.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about 8th (South Canterbury) squadron

What do you know?

Richard Bruce

Posted: 08 Feb 2016

I understood from my fathers description that S Cant mounted & Otago gave covering fire to the Chunuk Bair attack on the left & Aucklanders on right while the Wellington carried the main attack. (up the centre) the top was taken & retaken with Naval bombardment taking them out as the communications were rotten, also the naval guns were not able to give "plunging fire" like Howitzers. The S Canterbury were "used up" at Hill 60 in a stupid attack a few days later @140 went in @30 came out a German maxim (the one that wounded my father) was captured here & turned on the Turks, this gun was in the Canterbury Museum (till it was discarded by Dr. Duff(er) @ 1958. currently in display at Te Papa on loan from descendants of the descendants of thems who captured it.

Richard roy Bruce

Posted: 26 Dec 2013

My father Allan Bruce was a member of S cant MR (7/21) left with first units at WW1 start. Wounded hill60 on gallipoli served Passendale/Somme. I have photos etc. I wish to contact interested folks view to establish archive. ph 03 3030718