On the basis of a background in local government, but with no field experience or knowledge of indigenous people, Robert Logan was called on to run the military administration of German Samoa on behalf of Britain during the First World War. Conscientious and well-meaning, he was also inflexible, unimaginative and somewhat authoritarian. His mismanagement of an incoming vessel carrying influenza victims had tragic consequences for the Samoan population, and marred his reputation.
Ettie Rout gained a public profile in early-20th century Christchurch as a cyclist, vegetarian, freethinker and physical culturist. Tall, fit and endowed with a superabundance of energy, she wore clothes peculiar to the time, was a committed socialist, and helped establish the Maoriland Worker, a left-wing newspaper.
Archibald McColl Learmond Baxter was born at Saddle Hill, Otago, in 1881. Baxter seriously considered enlisting as a volunteer for the South African War of 1899–1902, but during that war heard a plea for pacifism from a Dunedin lawyer that changed his life. By the time the national register was taken in 1915 – requiring men to register their preparedness to serve in the First World War – he was committed to rejecting the war both as a pacifist and as a Christian socialist.
In 1910 Field Marshal Lord Kitchener visited New Zealand to advise on its military requirements. He recommended the creation of a staff corps and, in response to a request by the New Zealand government for a suitable commandant of the New Zealand Defence Forces, the Sandhurst-educated Alexander Godley was appointed for five years.
As Minister of Defence from 1912 until 1920, James Allen was responsible for the organisation of New Zealand’s military forces during the First World War.
James Allen was born in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1855, and raised in Dunedin for a short while before being educated at boarding schools and Cambridge University in England. In 1877 Allen returned to Dunedin to manage his late father’s substantial commercial interests in the city, where he soon became a well-known resident.
‘The end of a good pal’. This New Zealand Mounted Rifles horse received shrapnel wounds to the neck and shoulder during a bombing raid by Turkish aircraft, 1916-17. The horse had to be put down because of the severity of its wounds.These photos were taken by Private Fred Albert Crum, who served with the Mounted Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Corps during the Sinai and Palestine campaigns. He died of wounds on 9 April 1917.
Major Claude Horace Weston (sitting), 1st Battalion, The Wellington Regiment, with his horse Billy in Egypt, February-March 1916. The two other soldiers in the picture are Billy’s groom and Weston’s batman (servant). In his wartime memoir, Three years with the New Zealanders (1918), Weston describes how he acquired Billy:As a Company Commander, I was entitled to a horse, and I was rather concerned as to the animal I should be able to get. Seeing that the horse that Major Brunt, the first Commander of the Taranaki Company, had ridden was dead, I was, literally, in the air.
Troops construct a track up Walker’s Ridge, Gallipoli, May 1915.The artillery landed and retained some horses at Gallipoli. But heavy equipment such as field guns had to be manhandled up the steep slopes. For example, 2nd Battery found it impracticable to use horses to get its guns to the top of Plugge’s Plateau:[A] working party of infantry, some hundreds strong, was set to work to make a road … [T]he track was sufficiently prepared by evening to permit of the passage of the guns.
The attack of the Otago Mounted Rifles at Messines, 7 June 1917, painted by Captain Matt Gauldie, official New Zealand Army Artist, in 2010.Gauldie’s dramatic painting shows a charge by a squadron of the Otago Mounted Rifles Regiment during the Battle of Messines in June 1917. These horsemen advanced nearly a kilometre ahead of the infantry on Messines Ridge, capturing several German prisoners and two field guns.