The History of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles 1914-1919
Recruited from the Plains of Canterbury, from Nelson, and Marlborough and the West Coast, the C.M.R. included a squadron from the 1st M.R. (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry), the Senior Mounted Corps in the Dominion, and so held pride of place "the right of the line" in the Mounted Brigade. Those who follow their career on the scrub-covered hills and deres of Gallipoli, and in the succeeding years of warfare in the desert and in the Holy Land will realise how fully they lived up to, and justified by their exploits, the distinction conferred by chance.
It was the writer's misfortune to lose sight of the C.M.R. in 1916. After the eventful happenings on Gallipoli, the Mounted Brigade and the Infantry Division parted company with mutual regret, the Mounted Brigade to prepare for, and carry out, the long series of campaigns which led to the final break up of the Turkish Army, ourselves to the rain-sodden fields of Flanders and the victories of 1918.
Science advances—and with each advance methods of warfare change. Allenby's headlong thrust across Palestine may prove one of the last, if not the very last epic in which cavalry take the leading role.
Science advances. Methods Change. But the spirit of chivalry remains,—and possibly the sons of the men who fought in the desert, rode down into the Promised Land and drove the Turks from Beersheba to Dan, will have to exchange their horses for wheel or wing. It is possible that the sound of galloping horses, quadrupedante pedum sonitu, no longer shaking the plains, will be exchanged for the whirr of the flying squadron: that the hurried speed of the armoured cars take the place of the swift moving charge. It is hoped not altogether! Be what may, the old cavalry spirit will carry on though all else change.page vii.
One experience the C.M.R. enjoyed was perhaps unique. They served throughout under one leader. When, as was their good fortune, that leader is at once beloved and respected by his subordinates, wise in his dealings, and a very capable soldier, it is an experience on which they may be congratulated and envied.
Major-General, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
The New Zealand Division in France.