Title: The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine
Author: Powles, C G
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2003
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 284 pages
Comments: The official account of the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade (Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington Mounted Rifles), which fought right through the Sinai and Palestine campaigns, gaining a high reputationThis is the story of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade which consisted of three mounted rifles regiments, one each from Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington. There was a fourth, from Otago, but they did not take part in the Sinai and Palestine campaigns, they accompanied the newly formed NZ Division to France in April 1916.
The Mounted Rifles Brigade had been fighting on Gallipoli as infantry, part of the New Zealand and Australian Division, and on 26th December 1915 they arrived back in Alexandria to resume their mounted role; their strength was 62 officers and 1329 other ranks. When reorganization was complete the Brigade numbered 2421 officers and men and 2,884 horses, part of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division along with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades. In March 1916 the Brigade took over part of the Suez Canal Defences but it was in August that the Sinai operations began with the Battle of Romani and the subsequent actions in all of which the Brigade took part.
Advancing into Palestine they played a great part in that campaign earning high praise from Allenby. In the appendices there is a Brigade Diary showing the more important moves taken and actions fought during the two campaigns, and they make a most impressive list. As with the other volumes of this history of New Zealand’s part in the Great War the narrative is easy to read and follow, gives a clear picture of the terrain (a virtual travelogue in parts) and the conditions of desert fighting, supported by good maps and plenty of contemporary photos. There is no Roll of Honour nor list of Honours and Awards nor index. Apart from the diary the appendices contain a glossary of terms occurring with place names and the brigade order of battle with succession of commanding officers in all units.