The New Zealand Mounted Rifles
New Zealand also has its own cavalry tradition through the New Zealand Mounted Rifles who engaged in many sharp cavalry actions during the Boer War in South Africa and during the First World War in Palestine. Although New Zealand's role during the Great War at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in Europe is well known, the story of the Mounted Rifles in the Sinai and Palestine is hardly known of at all.
The reality of the living conditions and fighting endured by the NZMR in the desert is also not well known. Nor are their significant achievements in preventing Germany's ally, the Turks from seizing the strategically vital Suez Canal and Egypt (then a British Protectorate) also widely recognised.
1120 men from the NZMR were killed from 1914 to 1920 of which 821 were battle casualties. 2113 men were wounded. Up to an estimated 1500 horses were also casualties. Only one horse taken from New Zealand with the NZMR overseas returned to New Zealand after the war.
Those that survived and were left behind ended up being sold to the locals and many of their descendants are working in the streets of Cairo and other parts of the Middle East today.
Order of the Boar is proud to recognise and honor the men and the horses of the NZMR through our portrayal of a 4 man NZMR section from the 9th (Wellington East Coast) Mounted Rifles. As a secondary portrayal of the NZMR, we can also portray them during the Boer War. Our first portrayal of the NZMR was at the 2009 Classic Fighters Airshow at Omaka, Blenheim where we portrayed the original NZMR section formation, drills and tactics as part of the BlueBridge Great War scenario.