Tuesday 26 April 2016

"Washington" and "Josephine" Open the Christchurch to Dunedin Railway, 6th Sept 1878 (Part One)

K88 "Washington" with her original "wagon top" 
boiler. Taken at Rolleston in 1878.
[Source : Upper Hutt City Library]

Part One : Christchurch to Oamaru Section

It was on the 6th September 1878 that the first "through" express passenger train ran on the Christchurch to Dunedin section of what now became the Main South Railway. This blog shall relive that momentous twelve hour journey courtesy of on board correspondents who reported the journey at length in the newspapers of the day. The events described in this blog are entirely factual.

The route of our journey south, as
shown on a railway map from 1900
[Source : "New Zealand Railways to 1900"]

Finally Joined on the 7th September 1878

Construction of "The Great South Railway" (originally gauged at 5ft 3in) had commenced on the flat plains south of Christchurch as early as 1865 with Timaru being reached in February 1876 and finally Oamaru in February 1877. Construction of the line north of Dunedin had commenced with the 3ft 6in line to Port Chalmers being opened on the 1st January 1873. Most of the latter would form the future main line north. But between these two centres lay the challenging section north of Dunedin, specifically the hills up to Mihiwaka and down to Blueskin Bay and the equally challenging gradients of the Seacliff section. Thus the two lines would finally be joined at Goodwood on the 7th September 1878, being only 57 km north of Dunedin but 310 km south of Christchurch.

George Phipps, 2nd Marquis of Normanby &
Colonial Governor of New Zealand 1874 - 1879
[Source : Wikipedia Commons]

The Governor of New Zealand

The first "through" express train would be honoured to include the Colonial Governor of New Zealand, His Excellency George Phipps, 2nd Marquis of Normanby, accompanied by his support staff, Lady Normanby, the Captain and officers of 'H.M.S. Nymphe', Parliamentary representatives and their wives, four native members of the House of Representatives [Hoani Nahi, Taiaroa, Takamoana, and Tawiti], Mayors and Councillors from both north and south, members of various Boards and Chambers, plus various other invited guests and groups. All up, around 300 passengers will be conveyed south to Dunedin with more joining in Oamaru.

The consist for the journey south comprised of ten new or newly painted carriages, that carrying the official dignitaries being emblazoned with the Vice-Regal coat of arms, and two "ornamental" style brake-vans. Upon daybreak the consist presented a "dazzling appearance".

K88 "Washington",
from a period engraving
[Source : Rogers Catalogue, 1886]

The "Star of the Show"

But undoubtedly the 'star of the show' for the journey to Dunedin is the "powerful" American built 2-4-2 locomotive K88 "Washington" having been built by the Rogers Locomotive Works of New Jersey in 1877, and entering service in March 1878. In stark contrast to the English built locomotives hitherto imported into New Zealand,  "...The [American] locomotives created quite a stir with their bar frames, 'Gothic' style wooden cabs, locomotive bell, ornate embellishments and, rakish appearances which were at odds with the traditional English locomotive appearance in New Zealand at the time and were described by one commentator [Charles Rous-Marten] as "a watch with all its works outside". But they quickly developed a reputation as fast and free running engines, "[They] are considered infinitely superior to the English locomotives... they are wonderfully equable in their rates of speed, and may be depended upon almost to a second".

Christchurch Railway Station, pre 1910
Opened Dec 1877, Demolished pre 1960
[Source : National Library of New Zealand]

So Let Us Begin Our Journey :

Being at an early hour and still dark on a frosty Christchurch morning the station and platform are dimly lit, access to the latter being by card or invitation only. But with a crowd of passengers and their luggage to be got on board we are presented with a busy scene. A marked feature is the number of ladies present who will be undertaking the journey with us. The passengers busy themselves with reading the morning papers and an amusing little brochure describing what may be seen on the line south to Timaru "and the dangers that used to attend the old style of travelling".

An unknown driver (but reputed to be Ben Verdon)
on the footplate of K88 "Washington" in 1878
[Source : Upper Hutt City Library]

On the footplate are driver Benjamin [Ben] Verdon and fireman Tom Scott along with (for at least parts of the journey) the New Zealand Railways Locomotive Superintendent, Mr Allison Smith who was most interested to see how the engine would perform, having been personally responsible for ordering these flashy new American K Class engines. 

Finally, at 6.05 am and just before daybreak, the signal is given and with a sharp tug from K88 "Washington" our train is set in motion. The few spectators present (as none had been allowed on the platform) attempt to raise a cheer "but the effect was feeble, and rather dispiriting than otherwise".  

Christchurch Railway Station and platform in the 1880's
[Source : "The Weekly Press"]

 Despite being seven minutes late on departure two or three unlucky passengers are still seen frantically running for the train but on we glide and no more grace will be given. The celebratory mood of those aboard is enlivened by the Dunedin Glee Club striking up in one carriage with the Dunedin Railway Band in another. By now well beyond the city we are rewarded by views of a "glorious sunrise" on as fine a morning "as anyone could wish" with only a slight haze hanging over the plain. Our long journey will be broken by many watering and coaling stops plus the obligatory and rather tiresome "ceremonial" stops at various towns on the journey south.

The Rakaia Combined Road and Rail Bridge, built 1873
[Source : Christchurch City Libraries]

"His Best Foot Foremost"

A steady pace of 23 miles per hour is maintained across the flat plains to the Rakaia River and the impressively long wooden trestle bridge. While this engineering feat brings forth "admiration" those on board, "...seemed to be a little disappointed at finding nothing but a few paltry streams in the [river] bed." Departing Rakaia at 7.30 am, and to make up time spent watering the engine, it is determined to get to Ashburton by 8 am. Thus "Washington" "had to put his best foot foremost" and we now reach the heady speed of 30 miles per hour.

"Gaily Festooned"

Arriving at 8.10 pm, a large crowd awaits us at Ashburton but only the Mayor and councillors have been permitted onto the platform. With the Governor on board the inevitable addresses need to be read first. Dignitaries are then duly acknowledged before the Railway Band strikes up again and the official guests depart in a waggonette to the town hall. Here tables have been laid with breakfast for about 350 officials and guests. A formal arch had been constructed outside the hall "gaily festooned with evergreens, and surmounted with flags" and bearing the words "Success to the Christchurch and Dunedin Railway". Quite surprisingly, and despite the formalities involved, the train and official guests still manage to depart at 8.30 am sharp for the long run south across the flat South Canterbury plains to Timaru.

"By this time a clear view could be obtained of the country, and it was with admiration that those who had not seen them before scanned the bold line of the Southern Alps. Very beautiful they looked in the morning sun, with their snowy crests sharply defined against the blue sky, and relieved by the chocolate hue of the lower slopes."

The turning of the first sod of the Temuka to Timaru
Railway Section of the Main South Railway by the
Mayoress of Timaru, Mrs Cain, 4 Oct 1871
[Source : NZ History Net]   

The Dizzying Speed of 40 Miles Per Hour

Residents and school children at Orari and Winchester cheer us as the train passes by before stopping for another water stop at Temuka,

Timaru is reached at 10.05 am, in fact a little before the scheduled arrival time, the journey having been completed at an average speed of 25 miles per hour although for a considerable distance where the line was flat with no crossings the dizzying speed of 40 miles per hour had been achieved. The rails laid south of Ashburton are recorded as being new and "half the weight of the 70lb rails north of Ashburton" which caused "Washington" to "rattle furiously", even at 25 mph.

With "half the town" of Timaru waiting to greet the guests. a salute is fired by the artillery before the guard receives His Excellency. The Town Clerk then reads the formal address of welcome. A "very pretty" triumphal arch has been constructed close to the station bearing the words "Welcome", "Success to Agriculture, Industry and Commerce", and "Progress, Canterbury and Otago United".

Timaru Railway Station and Yard
taken looking south
[From a period postcard]

The Train Departed Without Them

While the Governor and some of his party repair for a ten minute visit to the Grosvenor Hotel for champagne "to wash down the dust which had become rather thick in the carriages", others partake of a tour of the town on the many carriages provided for this purpose. But upon returning to the station "some who indulged in this amusement", are taken aback to find that our train has departed without them! These included the Mayors of Ashburton, Hokitika and Greymouth. The Commissioner of Railways [ie, the General Manager] for the South Island, Mr W. Conyers, having determined to keep to the set timetable, had allowed only a 30 minute stop instead of the 45 minutes expected; "The feelings of the disappointed ones may be better imagined than described".

Departure from Timaru took place at twenty minutes to eleven, accompanied by another artillery salute and an even larger crowd of spectators "cheering with hearty goodwill".  

Rogers K94 and English built J82
about to depart Timaru Station
[Source : "Grand Old Days of Steam"]

We Almost Touch the Sea Beach

"The way lay for many miles through the lovely downs of South Canterbury... [before encountering] ...a succession of cuttings and bridges until the plains beyond the Waimate Junction appear. The sea is close on the left; in fact, in places we almost touch the sea beach, and on the right, the nestling farms, the broken contour of the downs, and the rugged peaks of the Alps  bathed in a flood of sunshine..."

The long Rakaia combined road and rail bridge
taken pre 1956. An overhead water tank can be
observed to be used in case of fire.
[Source : "Rails In The Hinterland"] 

Nearly Double the Normal Speed

Now running "at nearly double the normal speed", we travel past the junction with the Waimate branch railway then over the level plain beyond. We next cross the "splendid cylinder bridge" over the Waitaki River which brings forth a rush to the carriage platforms as we cross at a "moderate" speed. [The bridge supports were constructed of cylindrical iron and may still be seen in the river bed]. Having only departed Timaru two hours previous we now leave behind the Province of Canterbury and enter the Province of Otago. Now "putting on more steam" we have but 15 miles further to travel before reaching Oamaru just a few minutes after 12.30 pm.

Oamaru Breakwater in the late 1880's and showing
the Railway Line onto the Normanby Wharf

[Source : NZ History Net]

Another Address is Inflicted on the Governor

Guests leave the train only for a few moments at Oamaru "while another address is inflicted on the Governor", a salute fired, three cheers given, then our train steams onto the breakwater. Here another address is given, this time by the Oamaru Harbour Board, a truck or two of stone is run down the line to the breakwater, and the opening of this short industrial line is proclaimed under the name of the "Normanby Wharf". A luncheon then follows in the goods shed with the usual speeches and toasts being given.

To read Part Two of this blog featuring the decidedly eventful Oamaru to Dunedin section please click Here.

Sources :

- Papers Past / Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
- New Zealand Electronic Text Collective / Te Pūhikotui o Aotearoa
- The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1934
- "The New Zealand Listener", 1983
- New Zealand Historic Places magazine
- "New Zealand Railways to 1900", by C. Rous-Marten (from my own collection)
- "Otago Centennial 1848 - 1948" (from my own collection)

Monday 18 April 2016

ANZAC Day Remembrance 25th April 2016 - The Reality of War

Military In Memoriam card for Private James Clark 29746, 
of the 18th New Zealand Reinforcements who died in action
at Meteren, 
on the 16th April 1918, aged 23 years.
[From my own collection]

This blog, which is primarily in images, highlights the harsh reality of 'The Great War' of 1914 - 1918 by way of ephemera, letters and artefacts from my own collections relating to those who made the supreme sacrifice.

This gallery is not intended to glorify any one serviceman over another but simply to highlight the fate of so many who never returned from war service. Please spare a quiet moment to remember all those who served King and Country and for their grieving families for whom there would be no happy homecoming and who would bear this burden for the rest of their lives.

A black bordered envelope used to post out
In Memoriam cards for deceased military servicemen.

[From my own collection]

"For The Empire's Cause" - Military deaths placed in
newspapers were normally printed within a black
border, and often accompanied by a photograph.
[From my own collection]

The Military Funeral cortège for Private John Watson, Winton,
New Zealand, 18th September 1915
[From my own collection]

A letter from The Southland Patriotic Committee
expressing condolences upon the death of a serviceman,
20th September 1915
[From my own collection]

An extract of a letter sent by the sister of a deceased
serviceman to her grieving mother in 1915
[From my own collection]

A small card showing the Flags of the Allied Forces.
This card was sent by a Scottish serviceman
after the death of a mutual friend.
[From my own collection]

The letter from King George V
accompanying the "Dead Man's Penny"
shown below.
[From my own collection]

A commemorative medal, known as a "Dead Man's Penny",
 for the life and service of Private John Watson
of Winton New Zealand who died in
military service, 14th September 1915.
Posted to families of deceased servicemen in 1923.
[From my own collection]

Fronticepiece of the photograph\of a
serviceman's gravestone sent to family
by the New Zealand Government
in March 1926
[From my own collection]

Formal photograph\of a serviceman's gravestone sent to family by
the New Zealand Government
in March 1926
[From my own collection]

Extract of a letter from Mrs Mary
MacWilliam of Crawfordjohn,,
Lanarkshire, Scotland dated 1915
[From my own collection]

"...my cousin Mrs H. Hamilton at Dalserf has lost both her sons. Charlie the elder was a captain in the Scottish Rifles and was killed at the Dardanelles in August. He had married a year before and his wife, who had gone home to her mother at Maidenhead, had a little girl on the 12th August and died a few days after. They wired to Charlie but got no reply - he had never got the message. We motored down to Dalserf and found the parents very glad to see us and wonderfully brave..."
- Extract of above letter from Mrs Mary MacWilliam, wife of the Presbyterian Minister at Crawfordjohn, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1915

Crosses laid out in Cranmer Square, Christchurch
in memory of those members of the Canterbury
Regiment killed in the First World War.
Taken 25th April 2015
[From my own collection]

Floral Tributes and poppies laid at the temporary
Christchurch Cenotaph in Cranmer Square in memory
of those servicemen killed in World Wars One and Two.
Taken 25th April 2015
[From my own collection] 

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old :
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them."

From "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon (1914) 

Copyright : All images are from my own collections and may be freely copied for personal and academic use provided this site is acknowledged.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

The Otago Mounted Rifles Training Camps 1941 - 1942

The Otago Mounted Rifles "Regimental Guidon",
listing 11 battle honours, now preserved and on
view in the First Church of Otago, Dunedin.
[Source : Wikipedia Commons]

The Otago Mounted Rifles Regiment is of special interest to me in that my Father served as a Trooper in this force from April 1941 to October 1942.

But its origins go back to 1864 when the "Otago Cavalry" was formed before variously changing its name to "The Otago Light Horse" (1864), "The 5th Otago Hussars" (circa 1885), and "The Otago Mounted Rifles" (1900). Various regiments were thereafter formed under the overall banner of the Otago Mounted Rifles. During The Second Boer War the Mounted Regiment served in South Africa (1899 to 1902) and during World War One served fully at Gallipoli and then on the Western Front in France.

The Badges of the 5th Mounted Regiment of the
Otago Hussars, issued to my Father in Feb 1942

[From my own collection]

At the outbreak of World War Two in 1939 the Regiment, which then amounted to only "one squadron - horsed" was returned to full regimental strength. But during 1942 the Regiment was renamed "The Otago Mounted Rifles Regiment (Armoured)" and remained in this form until the end of the war. It was thus during this latter period that the emphasis finally moved from a horse mounted regiment to that of a fully armoured regiment, my father taking his part in this fundamental shift in focus.

My Father, taken while in training
at Burnham Military Camp, 1941
[From my own collection]

His longer period of service with the Regiment within New Zealand was due to the fact that he was already 39 years of age when called up, he was required for seasonal work on the family farm or at the direction of the "Manpower Committee", and was therefore classed as only fit for "Home Service" (rather than active service overseas).

A 1940's aerial view of the large Burnham Military Camp
located south of Christchurch
[From my own collection]

Burnham and Riccarton Camps, Apr to July 1941

After receiving his "Mobilisation Order", my Father, classed as a "Trooper" entered Burnham Military Camp south of Christchurch to commence army training with the then mounted regiment in April 1941.

Troops of the Otago Mounted Rifles, 1941.
My father is at far right.
[From my own collection]

The above group photo taken at Trentham Camp in 1941 shows the generally older age of the men. As the war progressed older men were being called up for military service and training.

A horse column in formation, taken whilst training
at Burnham Military Camp, 1941. My Father appears
in this image along with my Mother's first husband, Trooper
William Thomson Wilson who died in 1943
[From my own collection]

My Father was in fact ideally suited for service with the regiment, with existing horsemanship and equine husbandry skills and considerable experience with rifles and sharpshooting from many years of deer stalking and rabbit shooting. Thus he saw through the final year of this historic 78 year old Horse Mounted Regiment before it fundamentally changed its focus to that of an armoured regiment in 1942.

An exercise in horsemanship, taken at
Burnham Military Camp, 1941
[From my own collection]

This was no holiday camp, more of a boot camp, and probably proved a bit of a shock to some not accustomed to this. I do not believe my Father found it exceedingly gruelling as he was used to hard physical work. The camaraderie between those in camp was what my Father most remembered. We know from military records that his training, which was obviously very thorough, included physical training, drill, rifle training, bayonet training, grenade training, Hotchkiss light machine gun training, anti-gas training, marching, fieldcraft, night work, lectures on military law, discipline, regimental history and pay, "interior economy" [bed, hut and camp housekeeping], fatigues [clothing], horsemanship, organisation, guard duty, and recreation.

A line up of men of the Otago Mounted Rifles and their horses,
Taken at Burnham Camp, 1941
[From my own collection]

After two months at Burnham Military Camp he moved in July 1941 to the temporary camp at Riccarton in Christchurch where basic training was completed before being discharged for the year and sent back to the family farm in Southland.

Wingatui Camp, Jan to July 1942

He was next called to attend the Camp set up at the Wingatui Racecourse near Dunedin in January 1942, While some accommodation was arranged round the racecouse at least two squadrons slept between the seats in the open grandstand in all weathers. I do not recall if my father ever mentioned if he was among this unlucky group.

An assortment of requisitioned trucks at the Wingatui Camp
[Source : Norman McElwee]

In January 1942 it was formally announced that the regiment would now be known as the "5th Light Armoured Fighting Vehicle Regiment (LAFV)". But at this point, as Jeff Plowman in the official regimental history so succinctly puts it, there was one essential element missing - armoured vehicles. Thus training first concentrated on "squad drill, fieldcraft and specialist training". As a result of the compulsory acquisition of lorries and trucks (my father's family begrudgingly had to give up their own farm truck), a driving school was established for those without driving qualifications or experience.

"Authority to Drive Army Vehicles", 1st Class, Feb 1942
This was later extended to light armoured Bren Gun
Carriers. Oddly he could legally drive and had
experience with tractors, trailers and motor cycles.
[From my own collection]

Having learnt to drive on the family farm during the early years of the First World War, examinations for Driver's Licences were in rural areas practically non-existent or at the very least very lax. Thus my Father explained, when licences became necessary he had been given an "open" licence which enabled him to drive almost anything barring perhaps a passenger carrying bus. This meant that he was then given the job of driving Army transport vehicles.

A Bren Gun Carrier. The driver and machine gunner
sat in the front behind the armoured plate while an
additional person could sit up the back in a more
exposed position.
[Source : http://www.nzu.org.nz/]

Specially built light armoured tracked vehicles began to arrive from February 1942. These were known as Bren Gun Carriers, being manufactured by the 'Ford' Motor Company at Petone and were essentially light tracked vehicles fitted with armour plate and of course a 'Bren' light machine gun. The driver and machine gunner sat up the front at a low position behind an armoured plate with viewing holes which completely protected them from open view and with the engine bay behind them. Another two gunners could sit up the back beside the engine. While this area was also surrounded by armour plate this was not to the same height and thus left them in somewhat of an exposed position.

A convoy of 'Beaverette' Armoured cars,
taken at Waiwera South in 1942
[Source : Molly Middlemiss]

Through 1942 the Regiment also obtained "Beaverette Armoured Cars", being essentially 'Ford' one ton trucks fitted with armour plating. These "cumbersome" vehicles apparently proved rather "useless".

During the Wingatui Camp period between January 1942 to June 1942 a number of tactical exercises were carried out in the Mosgiel and Outram area in which my father would have been fully involved.

The location of the Waiwera Military Camp
at Waiwera South in South Otago
[Source : "Dr Hocken's Laptop Guide to the South"]
Waiwera South Camp, Jun to Oct 1942 

Between the 9th and 17th June 1942 the Regiment moved en-masse from Wingatui to an exposed and "bleak" 154 hectare "strategically located" site at Waiwera South. Covering an area of "rolling downs" about 20 kilometers north of Balclutha. The lack of tree shelter, badly constructed camp roads, muddy conditions, ponding water, and a lack of electricity at the camp all caused considerable difficulties. The men generally encountered "bitterly cold and wet winter weather".

The layout of the Waiwera South Camp showing
how the men's huts were distanced from each other.
[Source : Norman McElwee]

Due to the muddy conditions on a layer of impervious pug clay which did not drain effectively army vehicles, particularly including the 'Beaverettes', were unable to move off formed roads until designated areas were formed for parking. Even then they were still apt to become stuck in mud up to their axles. And at times hay had to be laid on the parade ground due to the muddy conditions, or the men had to wear gumboots. Work on improving the site continued into July but drainage work still apparently proved rather ineffectual. The camp huts were prefabricated and spaced out on the site so that possibly damage from a Japanese air raid would be minimised.

The muddy conditions prevalent at the Waiwera South Camp
[Source : Norman & Joan Bresanello]

The history of the OMR, "The Troopers' Tale", notes the hospitality of the local Waiwera community, "which laid on numerous socials, concerts and dances for the troops." But it also quotes the reminiscences of Lloyd Duncan, "Of all the camps I lived in during 5½ years of service, Waiwera South was a wet miserable, freezing sea of mud in an absolute forsaken no man's land". Although my own father kept diaries for this period these were unfortunately destroyed during his lifetime.

While my father could tell (and frequently repeat!) many stories of his training with the Otago Mounted Rifles Regiment I unfortunately don't actually recall that many myself and he never wrote these down. But one recollection I remember of the Waiwera South Camp is worthy of mention.

The Battle of Waipahi, 2 Sept 1942

It was during the Waiwera Camp that my father now regularly drove the light armoured Bren Gun Carriers and presumably continued driving other Army troop vehicles as required.

During one military exercise he described driving a Bren Gun Carrier on a defensive exercise while a light plane, possibly a De Havilland Tiger Moth, attempted to drop "bombs" on them - actually bags of flour! It all sounds like something out of "Dad's Army".

A "staged" convoy of Bren Gun Carriers,
taken at Waiwera South, July 1942
[Source : "The Evening Star"]

I wonder if this was during the well known "Battle of Waipahi" where the OMR was pitched against the local Home Guard on the premise that the former had landed on the Southern Coast and were attempting to take the township of Waipahi including the Main South Railway Line which ran through the town. It was however an unequal "battle" as the Home Guard had not expected to come up against the Bren Gun Carriers and a (solitary) Stuart tank. I assume the plane to have been requisitioned by the Home Guard who had taken up defensive positions on the outskirts of town. But the defense was obviously ineffectual in the face of semi-armoured columns of armed troops. Thus victory was complete for "the enemy" [the OMR] as they encircled Waipahi and overwhelmed the Home Guard, also cutting off their means of escape.

I also assume that my Father took part in the seven day bivouac at the Gore Reacecourse in October 1942. This included a recruiting and patriotic appeal parade through Gore on the 16th October, complete with the Air Force Band and assisted by a Kittyhawk fighter making impressively noisy week long sorties down the Mataura Valley.


From November 1942 my Father was placed under the control of the Southern Military District, granted leave without pay, and thereafter returned to farming activities to put in the summer crops on the family farm with his elder brother and to shear upwards of 1,000 sheep. His file specifically states that, "This man is available in an emergency".

A candid shot of my father,
possibly taken during an open
day at Burnham Camp in 1941
[From my own collection]

Final discharge came in September 1943. Although the war did not end until 1945 his training had been completed and of course he could be still be called up again in the now unlikely event of an imminent Japanese invasion. But judging by the large amount of correspondence in his military file between himself, his brother, the family Solicitor, the Armed Forces Appeal Board, the Manpower Committee, the Department of Agriculture, and the Southern District Military Headquarters, his valued assistance was of more benefit on the family farm which had frequently been left under the sole charge of his older brother.

Feeling that he had not contributed in any positive way to the war effort, my Father never uplifted his two war medals as he would not have worn them on parade. Instead he joined the New Zealand Home Servicemen's Association. I have subsequently obtained his medals from the New Zealand Defence Department.

The misappropriated 'Burnham Handle'
[From my own collection]

While he was proud of his OMR Regimental badges, he was equally proud of his glass tankard, having been spirited out of the Burnham Camp servicemen's bar under his greatcoat at the conclusion of his time there in 1941. I still hold it.

The "5th Light Armoured Fighting Vehicle Regiment (LAFV)" ceased to exist in 1956, being then disbanded.

Copyright : Those images from my own collections may be freely copied for personal or academic use provided this site is acknowledged. Please contact me regarding any commercial or non-academic use.

Sources :

- Personal family papers and photographs
- "Dr Hocken's Lapton Guide to the South", by the Rev JG Sinclair, 2001 (from my personal collection)
- New Zealand Defence Force Archives
- "The Troopers Tale - The History of the Otago Mounted Rifles", by Don Mackay, 2014