The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine
Introduction by General Sir Archibald Murray, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., C.V.O., D.S.O
Introduction by General Sir Archibald Murray, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., C.V.O., D.S.O.
I have, been greatly honoured by being asked to write a few words of introduction to the history of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade.
The Brigade served under my command in the Sinai Peninsula during the whole of 1916 and until the end of June, 1917. Fortunate indeed is a commander in the field who has at his disposal New Zealand mounted troops, for he can depend on them at all times to display energy, resource, and endurance. All these three qualities were time after time exemplified by the New Zealanders in the waterless desert country of Sinai.
I have known the Canterbury Mounted Rifles cover forty miles of heavy desert sand in thirty hours.
On May 31st, 1916, the New Zealand Mounted Brigade was in action at Bir Salmana, covering sixty miles in thirty-six hours.
Not only is the Brigade equal to any troops in energy, resource and endurance, but in addition it is second to none in determination and dash. The fine determined action of these troops at Mount Royston, Romani, and their magnificent dash at Magdhaba and Rafa will always be remembered by the Egyptian Field Force to their everlasting credit.
I have had New Zealand troops under my command in other lands than Egypt and have gained a lasting and sincere affection for them, collectively and individually. They are a magnificent lot of men, who play the game at all times.
I feel sure that this History will bring home to all New Zealanders and the Empire generally the grand part played in the Great War by their mounted troops. It will also be cherished as a priceless memento by those who have lost near and dear relatives who gave up their lives for their King and country and now lie buried in a far distant land.
The Empire is proud of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade and I personally owe it a debt of lasting gratitude.