Title: 1st Battalion (Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment) 1957 – 2007: From South East Asia to Afghanistan – The First 50 Years
Author: Koorey, Paul
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2007
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 344 pages
Comments: A comprehensive history of the 1st Battalion (Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment) from 1957 to 2007.
The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is the main combat unit in the regular New Zealand Army. It was formed 9 January 1947 as the New Zealand Regiment with a single infantry battalion as part of the newly created infantry corps.
By 1 August 1947 the regiment was augmented by the reorganisation of the Jayforce (the occupation force of Japan):
1st Battalion – redesignation of original regiment
2nd Battalion – redesignation of 22nd Battalion, NZEF
3rd Battalion – redesignation of 27th Battalion, NZEF
The 2nd and 3rd Battalions were disbanded in 1948 following their return to New Zealand. The honours and traditions of the 22nd Battalion, NZEF were then perpetuated through the Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) Regiment, the Hawke’s Bay Regiment and the Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment. The 2nd Battalion was raised again in 1959 and saw service in Malaya before converting to a depot for the 1st Battalion in 1963. The regiment received its present name on 1 April 1964, when all of the Territorial Force battalions were absorbed into its structure, receiving battalion numbers:
1st Battalion – regulars
2nd Battalion – Canterbury, and Nelson-Marlborough and West Coast Regiment
3rd Battalion – Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own) and Northland Regiment
4th Battalion – Otago and Southland Regiment
5th Battalion – Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment
6th Battalion – Hauraki Regiment
7th Battalion – Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Regiment
In 1973, the regiment gained an additional regular battalion, when the Regimental Depot was redesignated as 2/1st Battalion, RNZIR. This structure was in place until 1999, when the TF regiments resumed their separate identities following the re-organisation of the army structure. Today, the RNZIR has two battalions:
1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (mechanised infantry) – the original battalion formed in 1947.
2/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (light infantry) – originally the 2nd Battalion, this was given its current name in 1973.
The 3/1st Battalion, RNZIR was a planned TF mobilisation unit, a concept which arose during 1990s reorganisation planning which did not go beyond ‘paper’ status. Previously, under the three-battalion plan, upon mobilisation of TF infantry units from the six battalion groups, each of the regular battalions would be augmented by a company, while the remaining four would be used to form 3/1st Battalion.
In addition, the RNZIR contributed two companies to the ANZAC Battalion in Vietnam between 1968 and 1971. It is this that has provided the RNZIR with its only battle honour thus far, which is the only battle honour awarded to a New Zealand unit since World War II.
Includes roll of honour, awards, key personnel & many group photographs named.