Mounted Rifles units

Page 2 – Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment

Auckland Mounted Rifles on patrol near Romani

The Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment was one of four regional mounted rifles regiments raised to serve overseas in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) during the First World War (the others were the Canterbury, Wellington and Otago mounted regiments). It was separate from the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment which formed part of the New Zealand Territorial Force, though it wore the same insignia.

It served as part of the New Zealand and Australian Division on Gallipoli in 1915, and in Sinai and Palestine as part of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division from 1916 to 1918.

After the armistice with the Ottoman Turks in October 1918 the AMR remained in Palestine until March 1919, when it was sent back to Egypt to help suppress nationalist riots. The regiment was disbanded in June, when most of its officers and men embarked on the troop transport Ulimaroa for the return voyage to New Zealand.

Unit attached toCampaignsDatesFurther information
New Zealand and Australian DivisionGallipoli, 1915August 1914–March 1916Unit diaries at Archives New Zealand
Unit diaries at Australian War Memorial
Unit diary extracts on NZHistory
Anzac Mounted DivisionSinai campaign, 1916
Palestine campaign, 1917–18
April 1916–November 1918Unit diaries at Archives New Zealand
Unit diaries at Australian War Memorial
Unit diary extracts on NZHistory

Cloth patches, shoulder titles and badges

Clot patch

Cloth patch for the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, worn on both sides of a soldier’s puggaree (hatband) from October 1917.

NZMR title badge

Shoulder title worn by all mounted rifles units. 

The green-on-kahki puggaree (hatband) worn by all mounted rifles units.

Auckland Mounted Rifles squadrons

The Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment comprised three squadrons, each with about 180 men. Here are their badges:

3rd Auckland Squadron badge

3rd (Auckland) Squadron. Cap and collar badges: A hawk bearing a shield with the Southern Cross on breast, and Maori striking weapons taiaha and tewhatewha in claws. Motto: Te kaahu mataara (Be like a hawk).

4th Waikato Squadron badge

4th (Waikato) Squadron. 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).

11th Nth Auckland Squadron badge

11th (North Auckland) Squadron. Cap badge: A boar’s head flanked by fern-fronds surmounted by the regimental number XI and motto and ‘NAMR’. Collar badges: Smaller version of the cap badge in left- and right-facing versions. Motto: Kia tupato (Be cautious).

Formation of squadrons

These squadron designations were intended to represent each of the three Territorial Force mounted rifles regiments from which the AMR drew its personnel. As far as possible, each squadron drew its recruits from its geographical region until September 1917. From then on, men were sent overseas as generic mounted rifles reinforcements but were still generally assigned to their region’s unit.

Further reading

Kinloch, Terry, Devils on horses: in the words of the Anzacs in the Middle East 1916–19 (Auckland: Exisle Publishing, 2007)

Kinloch, Terry, Echoes of Gallipoli: in the words of New Zealand’s mounted riflemen (Auckland: Exisle Publishing, 2005)

Moore, A. Briscoe, The mounted riflemen in Sinai and Palestine: the story of New Zealand’s crusaders (Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1920; reprinted by Naval & Military Press, Uckfield, East Sussex, 2003)

Nicol, C.G., The story of two campaigns: official war history of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, 1914–1919 (Auckland: Wilson & Horton, 1921; reprinted by Naval & Military Press, Uckfield, East Sussex, n.d.)

Powles, C.G., The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine (Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1922)

How to cite this page

'Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/auckland-mounted-rifles, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 22-Mar-2017