Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The War Effort of New Zealand

[New Zealand Veterinary Corps.]

New Zealand scored strongly in the war with horses as well as with men. The resource and efficiency of the New Zealand Veterinary Corps surprised high officers of the Imperial Army by the low percentage of losses sustained in transportation and on active service.

The New Zealand Veterinary Corps was formed in 1907, but, apart from a nucleus of officers—all qualified veterinary surgeons—it possessed no "establishment." On the outbreak of war immediate calls were made upon the resources of the Corps, for the purchase of military horses, the provision of veterinary officers for duty on transports, and in the training of essential personnel which had to be enrolled for the carrying out of routine duties. To do this it was necessary to utilise the services of all available qualified veterinary surgeons in New Zealand. The majority of those so enrolled subsequently received commissions in the New Zealand Veterinary Corps.

Early in the war the War Office requested the New Zealand Government to send two veterinary mobile sections and two veterinary hospital sections to Egypt. Arrangements were promptly made for this purpose. Suitable men were selected for the various duties which were to be done under veterinary officers, and were trained at a remount depot, which was established at Upper Hutt, New Zealand, where experts gave a series of lectures and demonstrations. These men eventually left with the third reinforcements. The reinforcements for subsequent veterinary units were similarly trained at Upper Hutt.

The various veterinary operations were under the administration of Dr. C. J. Reakes (now Director-General of the Department of Agriculture) who held the appointment of Director of Veterinary Services and Remounts, with the rank page 150
Section of Camp at upper Hutt (Wellington)

Section of Camp at upper Hutt (Wellington)

page 151of Colonel. He had as assistant in the early organisation work the late Lieut.-Colonel Clayton, an officer who never spared himself in those difficult days.

The active service personnel of the veterinary corps comprised the following twenty-four officers:—Lieut.-Colonel A. R. Young. A.D.V.S.; Lieut.-Colonel H. A. Reid; Major J. Stafford; Major P. M. Edgar; Major C. R. Neale; Captains T. A. Blake, E. C. Howard, R. H. Meade, W. C. Ring, E. L. Siddall, C. S. Simpson, A. Taylor, W. C. Barry, W. P. Begg, F. Crossley, E. E. Elphick, A. A. Johnson, T. G. Lillico, D. H. Rait, W. G. Taylor, J. Danskin, D. H. McHattie, J. H. Primer, and G. N. Waugh.

Major D. Munro, Major Robinson, Captain Gomez, and Lieutenant McCallum (who were not members of the Veterinary Corps), undertook veterinary duties on early transports. Captains McHattie, Primer, and Waugh were killed in action, and Captains Lillico and Rait died after their return to New Zealand.

The following decorations were awarded to members of the New Zealand Veterinary Corps:—D.S.O. to Major Stafford; Croix de Guerre to Captain Blake; C.B.E. to Colonel C. J. Reakes; O.B.E. to Major Edgar; O.B.E. to Lieut.-Col. Reid.