Category Archives: New Zealand

Military Uniforms of the British Empire Overseas Cigarette Cards (Part2)

New Zealand Mounted Rifles

 11From 1909 until 1930, military service was compulsory in New Zealand; since that date the compulsory service provisions of the Defence Act have not been enforced, but can be brought into operation without legislation. Since 1931 service in the Territorials and cadets has been voluntary. In march 1936, the strength totalled 779 officers and 8,251 other ranks, and 946 bandsmen. 98,950 troops served during the Great War in the N.Z. Expeditionary Forces in Samoa, Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and on the Western Front; 16,697 lost their lives on active service. All New Zealand’s Territorial Forces are to be reorganised and extensively mechanised. We show a trooper of the N.Z. Mounted Rifles; Parliament House, Wellington, appears in the background.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

 12This famous force was established in 1873 as the Northwest Mounted Police. A year later, the Force, 300 strong, marched 2,000 miles into Indian territory, and so impressed the inhabitants that Government control over them was effectively established. The reputation then gained for courage, integrity and efficiency has since become world-wide. In 1920, the Northwest mounted amalgamated with the Dominion Police to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, upon whom the government depends for the enforcement of federal law throughout Canada. Their duties include such diverse activities as the suppression of the drug traffic and the punishment of Indians for murdering persons accused of witchcraft.

Aide-de-Camp to the Viceroy of India

 13The personal staff of the Viceroy and Governor General of India includes both British and Indian Aides-de-camp. The latter are selected from among the Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers of Indian Army units. We show an Indian Aide-de-Campe holding the rank of Risaldar Major, or senior Indian officer, in an Indian Cavalry regiment, who for his distinguished services has been awarded the honorary rank of Captain. A Musalman of the Punjab, he belongs to a class which provides a larger proportion of recruits to the Indian Army than any other section of India’s population. The background portrays the Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.

The Scinde Horse

 14The Scinde Horse (14th Prince of Wale’s Own Cavalry) is one of the twenty-one Cavalry regiments of the Indian Army. It had its origin in two regiments of Scinde Irregular Horse Raised in Hyderabad in 1839 and ’46 respectively. These two regiments were absorbed into the regular forces about 1860 and ultimately became the 35th Scinde Horse and the 36th Jacob’s Horse. They saw active service in Northern and Central India, Persia and Afghanistan and, during the Great War, in France and Palestine. They were amalgamated in 1921. The present regiment is recruited from Pathans, Sikhs and Musalman Rajputs of the Punjab. We show the Risaldar-Major in full dress; a scene on the N.W. Frontier appears in the background.

The Poona Horse (17th Queen Victoria’s Own Cavalry)

 15The Poona Horse is the descendent of the 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry, raised in 1820, and the Poona Auxiliary Horse, raised about 1817-18. The later unit was absorbed into the regular forces about 1860 and the two regiments later became the 33rd Queen Victoria’s Own Light Cavalry and the 34th Prince Albert Victor’s Own Poona Horse. These were amalgamated in 1921 into the present regiment. The battle honours of which tell of service in three Afghan wars, in Persia, Abyssinia and China, as well as in the Great War. We show a Risaldar in Full Dress- a senior Indian officer of Cavalry. The background portrays Fort Jamrud, on the N.W. Frontier.

19th (KGO) Lancers

 16The history of the 19th (King George’s Own) Lancers extends back to the years immediately following the Indian Mutiny, when the 2nd Regiment of Mahratta Horse was raised at Gwalior in 1858 and Fane’s Horse was raised at Cawnpore in 1860. These two units, which later became the 18th King George’s Own Lancers and the 19th Lancers (Fane’s horse) respectively, were amalgamated in 1922 under their present designation. They had previously seen service in Northern India, China and Afghanistan and, in the Great War, in France and Palestine. The regiment is now recruited from Sikhs, Jats and Musalmans of the Punjab. We show an Indian Musalman officer (a captain in full dress); a view of the Khyber pass is seen in the background.

Madras Sappers and Miners

17The Sappers and Miners, as the engineers of the Indian Army are designated, are divided into three Corps, of which Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners are the senior. The Corps was originally raised in 1780 and has taken part in almost every campaign since then in which Indian troops have shared. Its battle honours before 1914 show service in Egypt, Java, China, Persia, Abyssinia and Afghanistan, as well as in India, while in the Great War its units fought in France, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Persia and East Africa. It is recruited entirely from the Madras Presidency. We show the Subadar-Major of the Corps in full dress, standing in front of Government House, Madras.

5th Mahratta Light Infantry

 18The Subadar-Major shown in our picture belongs to the 4th Battalion, which was originally raised in 1800 as a battalion of the 8th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry. It fought through the Great War, rendering gallant service in Iraq as the 116th Mahrattas, and received its present designation in the great post-war reorganisation of 1922. It is composed entirely of Mahrattas, sturdy fighters from the uplands of the Bombay Presidency round Poona and Satara. In the days of the East India Company, the Mahrattas put up a stout resistance to the Company’s forces in the two Mahratta Wars of 1775 and 1802. The background shows the “Gateway of India”, Bombay.

6th Rajputana Rifles

 19The 6th Rajputana Rifles consists, like most of the eighteen Indian Infantry regiments, of five active and one training (the 10th) battalions. The oldest of these battalions dates back to 1775, when it formed a unit of the old Bombay Army. One or other of them saw fighting in almost every campaign since that date in which Indian troops have been employed both in and out of India, and their Great War battle honours cover France, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Persia and East Africa. They are composed of Rajputs and Jats from Rajputana, and Musalmans from the Punjab, the Subadar-Major shown in our picture being a Rajput. The War Memorial Arch, New Delhi, appears in the background.

7th Rajput Regiment

 20The Subadar shown in full dress in our picture is an Indian officer belonging to the 1st Battalion (Queen Victoria’s Own light infantry), which was originally raised in 1798. For distinguished service in 1803 under General Lake it was permitted to carry a third honorary colour, and an additional Indian officer is still included in its strength to carry this colour. During the Great War it upheld its reputation in Egypt and Iraq. It is one of the fifteen Indian cavalry and infantry units which have been selected for Indianisation. No further junior British officers will be posted to these units, although senior British officers will remain with them till Indian officers are available to take their place. The background shows the Kutub Minar, Delhi.

WW1 New Zealand Troops Postcard

At the outbreak of WW1 New Zealand was a tiny island nation, with a population little more than a million. Despite this she contributed 100,444 men to the allied cause and suffered the highest casualty and death rate per capita of any nation. The New Zealand Army fought alongside their Australian cousins in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Tonight we are looking at a nice group shot of a group of New Zealand troops in camp:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001fTheir national identity can easily be determined by the ‘lemon squeezer’ hats some of them are wearing:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001Most of the men are wearing shorts and fatigue uniforms:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001aThe lengths varying from very short:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001fTo longer lengths coming to the knees:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001eThe corporal on the left is wearing standard woollen service dress, but without puttees:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001bAbove the hut door is a painted sign showing it housed 48 men:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001cThe most likely candidate for the photograph’s location is Sling Camp, near Bulford on Salisbury Plain. The camp was created for use of the New Zealand troops and the men built wooden huts much like the one in the background of the postcard. In this view of the camp (showing the chalk kiwi the men carved in the hillside above) the hut on the right bears a close resemblance to the style of accommodation in my postcard:34138-atlReturning to the postcard, one of my favourite details is the chap front and centre, kneeling down and holding a tray of some sort with what looks like a mug on it:SKMBT_C36415031808420_0001dThe reverse of the card handily dates it:SKMBT_C36415031808421_0001It reads ‘Some of the hut taken last week 31-10-17’. Sadly the camp was to be the site for rioting and looting by disaffected Kiwis awaiting repatriation once the war was over. The camp was finally rebuilt in the 1920s, but the chalk kiwi survives.