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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

The Volunteer Corps of Marlborough

The Volunteer Corps of Marlborough are included in the Nelson Military District, to which special reference is made on Page 48 of this volume. The strength of the military forces of New Zealand on the 30th of June, 1905, stood as follows: Six corps of field artillery, with 436 officers and men; nine garrison artillery corps, with 876 officers and men; six corps of engineers, with 443 rank and file; seventy-three companies of mounted rifles, with 4,150 members; 123 corps of infantry, with 6,705 officers and men; sixty-five officers on the active list, unattached; five bearer corps, with 183 members; fifty-seven companies of defence cadets, with 3,006 rank and file; and five garrison bands, with 134 members. This makes the total strength of the volunteer organisation as 284 corps, and 15,998 officers and men. In addition there are 107 rifle clubs, with a membership of 2919, and the permanent force—which includes the headquarters and district staffs—of 382 officers and men. This makes a grand total of 19,299. Of the First Batallion Nelson Mounted Rifles, the A Company is represented by the page 322 Marlborough Mounted Rifles, while the B and E Companies of the First Battalion of Nelson Infantry Volunteers belong respectively to Blenheim and Picton. There are also in Blenheim two defence cadet corps, a defence rifle club, and a half battalion band. On the hillside at Tua Marina, which commands a fine view of the Wairau Plain, a massive monument marks the scene of the Wairau massacre, perpetrated on the 17th of June, 1843; and, adjoining this, a handsome memorial has been erected to the memory of the Marlborough men who fell in the late South African war.