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New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade
Major General Sir Edward Chaytor.jpg
Major General Sir Edward Chaytor brigade commander 20 December 1915–22 April 1917
Active 1914–1919
Country New Zealand
Allegiance Commonwealth Dominion
Branch New Zealand Army
Type Mounted infantry
Role Mounted Rifles
Size cavalry brigade
Part of

(1) 1st Australian Contingent, 1914–15;[citation needed]
(2) Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) New Zealand and Australian Division, 1915–16; and,

(3) ANZAC Mounted Division, 1916–19.
Equipment Horse, rifle and bayonet

World War I

Gallipoli Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Brigadier General E. W. C. Chaytor (1915–1917)
Lieutenant Colonel W. Meldrum (1917–1919)
Unit Colour Patch 1st Light Horse Brigade.jpg

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, consisting usually of four units of mounted infantry, fought in World War I and World War II. Initially a milita, under the instruction of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Henry Banks they formed the core of the New Zealand Army following successful service in the Boer Wars. During World War I, it was a part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Gallipoli Campaign serving in the New Zealand and Australian Division. The brigade also served in the ANZAC Mounted Division during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. Throughout this campaign the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade consisted of the Auckland Mounted Rifle, the Canterbury Mounted Rifle and the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiments. The Otago Mounted Rifle Regiment was sent to Europe and served on the Western Front before the Sinai and Palestine Campaign began. After World War I demobilisation the brigade ceased to exist in 1944 when individual units were absorbed into other regiments.

World War I formation

During World War I, the brigade consisted of the following units:

3rd (Auckland) Mounted Rifles Squadron
4th (Waikato) Mounted Rifles Squadron
11th (North Auckland) Mounted Rifles Squadron[1]
1st Mounted Rifles (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry) Squadron
8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles Squadron
10th (Nelson) Mounted Rifles Squadron[1]
2nd (Wellington West Coast) Mounted Rifles Squadron
6th (Manawatu) Mounted Rifles Squadron
9th (Wellington East Coast) Mounted Rifles Squadron[1]
  • 1st New Zealand Machine Gun Squadron
  • 2nd Machine Gun Squadron (formed 1918)
  • Signalling Troop New Zealand Engineers
  • Field Troop New Zealand Engineers
  • Raratongan Company
  • No. 15 Camel Company
  • No. 16 Camel Company
  • No. 2 Mobile Veterinary Section
  • N. Z. Mounted Field Ambulance
  • Anzac Mounted Divisional Train
  • Auckland M.R. Band
  • No. 4 Coy. Army Service Corps
  • 5th Company NZASC.[2]

The following officers served as the brigade's commanding officer:

  • Brigadier-General Andrew Russell later Major-General Sir Andrew Russell, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
  • Brigadier-General Edward Chaytor later Major-General Sir Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor KCMG, KCVO, CB

Training in New Zealand

In New Zealand, mounted rifles reinforcements trained at Featherston Camp north east of Wellington where about 8,000 men were housed in nearly 300 buildings, including three billiard rooms, a post office, a cinema, 16 dining halls, six cookhouses and stables for 500 horses. The training programme included eight weeks of dismounted drill, two weeks of shooting, eight weeks of mounted drill and lectures on sanitation, military law and discipline, animal management and stable duties. All mounted reinforcements had to pass confirmatory riding tests before being cleared to go overseas.[3]

Shipping of New Zealand horses

After the New Zealand Division was shipped to war, reinforcements for the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade were shipped to Sydney or Melbourne, where they embarked on Australian troopships bound for Suez. They did not take horses with them.[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Powles 1922, pp.3–4
  2. Powles 1922, pp. 5, 280–1
  3. Kinloch 2007 pp. 242–3
  4. Kinloch 2007 p. 243


  • Kinloch, Terry (2007). Devils on Horses: In the Words of the Anzacs in the Middle East 1916–19. Auckland: Exisle Publishing. ISBN 978-0-908988-94-5. 
  • Powles, C. Guy; A. Wilkie (1922). The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine. Official History New Zealand's Effort in the Great War. Volume III. Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs. OCLC 2959465. 

External links

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