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The Mounted Riflemen in Sinai and Palestine: The Story of New Zealand's Crusaders


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This book is an attempt to do justice to the Mounted Riflemen.

The aim of the writer, whilst giving a connected account of the Campaign, is chiefly to picture to the reader the daily life and surroundings of our men in Sinai and Palestine. In doing this it is hoped to record some of the work done, about which no line has hitherto appeared in print, but which was so necessary, and so exacting on the men who per-formed it with such unflagging zeal.

The ceaseless patrol and outpost work in the Sinai Desert, when week after week our Mounted mens' work would be covered by the cryptic official com-muniqué "Nothing of importance has occurred," prompts one to draw an analogy between their doings and those of the "silent service." For it was hard and perilous work, unknown and unreported to the outside world—only fully understood by those who have taken part in it.

A description of those times will be given, and also one or two accounts of engagements reported previously in perhaps a couple of lines. Mention will be made of the country and places of historical interest through which our men passed, in an en-endeavour to reveal them to the reader as these modern Crusaders saw them.

This book is not intended to be a military history. A connected story of the Campaign has been given, but the primary object has been a description of things as experienced by the men concerned.

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The military reader may obtain full technical details of the various engagements from the official publication dealing with the subject. Much that has been dealt with herein is of more human than official interest.

If the aim outlined is achieved, and the reader comes to believe that the Mounted men have done their full share in worthily upholding the name of New Zealand; that their record in endurance and performance is as high as that of any British troops who fought in the Great War, then the writer will be proud to feel that he has helped towards a realization and recognition of the Mounted Rifle-men's work by the people of New Zealand.

And to those who will never return to their own beautiful country, but laid down their lives in the wastes of Sinai, Palestine, and the Jordan, in the performance of this work, New Zealand surely owes her grateful appreciation; for they were gallant gentlemen who gave their lives willingly towards its completion for the good of mankind.

The Author's thanks are due to Col. Findlay for revision of the manuscript, and to Sergt. J. C. Muir and others for valuable help in compilation; also to Capt. A. Rhodes, Sergt. D'A. Lange, and Corpl. Alexander for contributions to the illustrations, and to H. N. 0. Brown for permission to include the poem "Gundagai."

A. B. M.

Dunedin, 15th January, 1920.