The Official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade
2. By the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, His Excellency the Earl of Liverpool, P.C., G.C.M.G., G.B.E., M.V.O
2. By the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, His Excellency the Earl of Liverpool, P.C., G.C.M.G., G.B.E., M.V.O.
As an old Rifleman, I am very glad to have the opportunity of writing a few prefatory lines regarding the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.
The initiation of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade amongst the Forces of the Crown was in some respects not dissimilar to that of the Imperial regiment. The latter was raised in 1800 from drafts found from other regiments, and was known successively as The Rifle Corps, The Rifle Regiment, and The Rifle Brigade. Raised in 1915, the New Zealand regiment was formed of officers and men drawn from all parts of the country rather than from any particular territorial district, and absorbed the greater portion of the Samoan Expeditionary Force as well as some of the officers and non-commissioned officers transferred from the 3rd and 4th Reinforcements. It first saw the light as The Trentham Regiment, but was afterwards renamed The New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Both the Imperial regiment and that formed in New Zealand are, if we exclude those regiments incorporated with the British Army on the disbandment of the East India Company's Forces, the youngest amongst the infantry units of their own lands.
The record of the Imperial regiment shows that wherever there was something required of the Army during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there the regiment was to be found; that of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, short though it page xiibe, speaks of general efficiency and the performance of a succession of gallant deeds in whatever quarter of the globe it was called upon to serve during the Great War.
It would be futile in this short note to attempt any detailed reference to the many officers and men of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade who contributed so splendidly to the annals of the regiment. Alas, the senior officer died on the field of battle! The regiment was indeed fortunate in its sponsor, for Colonel Fulton, a New Zealander of conspicuous ability, was a Gurkha Rifleman of long experience and imbued with all the best traditions of the Rifle Brigade. He served his country well.
I earnestly trust that this young regiment may have a long and useful career, and that it will become even more closely associated with the sister regiment of Great Britain. In that both have the same Colonel-in-Chief, who watches closely over their interests, they are thus far linked together by a common bond; and I know that should occasion arise both will again be found winning fresh laurels as they fight side by side in the Empire's cause.