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The Story of Two Campaigns: Official War History of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, 1914-1919

[A. M. R. Band]

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The Band. In centre: Major F. C. Wood (Adjutant), Colonel Mackesy, and Lieutenant Whalley Stewart (Bandmaster).

The Band. In centre: Major F. C. Wood (Adjutant), Colonel Mackesy, and Lieutenant Whalley Stewart (Bandmaster).

The Auckland Mounted Rifles was the only one of the expeditionary mounted regiment which had a band. It differed from the infantry bands in that it was a military combination on similar lines to the Imperial Army bands. It continued as a regimental band, although doing brigade duty, until 1917, when, owing to the depletion caused by casualties and sickness, it became necessary to make it a brigade band, in order to be able to draw players from the other regiments of the brigade, and to increase the total number to 33. The band served with the brigade continuously in the field, and until the armistice spent only a fortnight at the base at Moascar. Whilst quartered in Jerusalem it performed four times each week in the public gardens of the city. Good service was done at both the field hospitals and also at Port Said Hospital by its performances, which were highly appreciated, as they also were by the inhabitants of Richon le Zion, where performances were given on the Synagogue steps each Saturday afternoon, and also concerts in the famous wine cellars of the noted wine distillery of that prosperous Jewish community. Of the original band, six members served through the whole of the war, and returned to New Zealand with the brigade, after doing five years and 19 days' service. They were Lieut. Stewart (bandmaster), Sergt. J. Alec Stewart, Sergt. George W. Stewart, Corpl. G. Smith, Corpl. Leadbeater, and Bandsman C. Bailey.