Palestine bell

  • Height  1397 mm
  • Width  1702 mm
  • Weight  3005.5 kg
  • Note  B
Bell Inscription

To the Glorious Memory of
The New Zealand Mounted Rifles
Sinai-Palestine, 1916-18.
‘Nothing daunted these intrepid fighters;
to them nothing was impossible.’
 - Edmund H.H. Allenby, Field-Marshal.
Given by Associated Contributors.

This bell was given in memory of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, in effect infantrymen on horseback, and in particular those who fought in the Middle East between 1916 and 1918.  Almost 25% of the troops who left New Zealand in the first year of the war were part of the Mounted Rifles, and they served at Gallipoli (without their horses) in 1915 and then in Egypt.

Their horses made them more suited to operations in open countryside and less useful in trench warfare. So when in 1916 the bulk of the New Zealand force was reorganised and sent to the Western Front in France and Belgium, most of the Mounted Rifles remained in the Middle East. As part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, which was made up of units from around the British Empire, the 1800-strong Mounted Rifles took part in numerous battles in Sinai in 1916 and Palestine in 1917–18.

Three of the largest bells in the Carillon were used to represent the three main theatres in which the New Zealand Expeditionary Force served – this one for the Middle East, plus the 'Anzac' bell for Gallipoli, and the 'Somme' bell for the Western Front. 

The quotation written on the bell is taken from Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Allenby’s introduction to the official New Zealand war history The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine by C. Guy Powles, published in 1922.

In the years that followed, the bell was sounded just before the national anthem during special recitals held for anniversaries of battles in which the New Zealand Mounted Rifles took part, such as the Battle of Rafa. Advertisements for the special recitals at the Carillon in memory of these battles often gave a history of these battles and of the Mounted Rifles.

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