The 36th Battalion: a record of service of the 36th Battalion with the Third Division in the Pacific
Chapter Sixteen — Unit Biographies
Lieutenant-Colonel Barry was on active service overseas with the Rifle Brigade during the last war for nearly three years. Joined the New Zealand Staff Corps. Was area officer at Wanganui when present war began. Left for Trentham in mid-October 1939, when he organised training staff there for Second NZEF. Went on a special mission to French Oceania. Formed and temporarily commanded Second Battalion Tanks. Formed the 36th Battalion and commanded it in Fiji, Norfolk and New Caledonia. Commander of N Force on Norfolk Island.
Lieutenant-Colonel K. B. McKenzie-Muirson
MC And Bar
Served with Australian Military Forces 1914-18 on Gallipoli from landing until last lighter left on morning of 20 December 1915. Commissioned at Anzac. Subsequently organised and commanded 15th Machine Gun Company, AIF. Awarded MC on the Somme and a bar at Passchendale. Mentioned in dispatches five times. Subsequently transferring to the Indian Army. Saw action on the Indian frontier during the Afghan war. At beginning of this war was appointed to a training unit in Trentham. Held various staff positions in Central Military District. Commanded First Battalion New Zealand Scottish Regiment, and finally the 36th Battalion in the successful attack and capture of the Treasury Islands group in the Solomons.
Service with Mounted Rifles from 1924-41. Commissioned with the Wellington-East Coast Mounted Rifles in 1926. Captain with Manawatu Mounted Rifles from 1933-37. With the Wellington-East Coast Mounted Rifles from 1937-41. Enlisted for overseas service in September 1939. Captain with the Second Battalion Tanks in September 1941. In December 1941, went to 36th Battalion with rank of major as second-in-command. Became CO of battalion with rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in December 1943.
Warrant-Officer 1st Class R. A. Arkless, RSM
Warrant-Officer Arkless was appointed Regimental Sergeant-Major of the battalion at its inception in December 1941, and remained in this position until invalided home in July 1943. During this period, which was largely spent in training for a more active role, the battalion benefited greatly by his many years of army experience.
Enlisting at the beginning of 1915 he served in France with the British Army, and took part in the battles of the Somme, St. Quentin, Ancre, Messines, Cambrai, Nieuport, third battle of Ypres and second battle of the Somme. Taken prisoner early in 1918, he was repatriated early in 1919. He was on service in India from 1919 to 1923 with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He came to New Zealand in 1926, and with the outbreak of war again in 1939 he joined the Second Echelon, being transferred to the New Zealand temporary staff early in 1940. It was this rich experience of soldiering which was placed in the service of the 36th Battalion when he became its RSM.
To his WOs and NCOs, Warrant-Officer Arkless was always a friend in need, always ready to give advice when needed, a firm but fair administrator of discipline at all times. It is in a large part due to his efforts and to the fine example which he set that the battalion attained such a high standard of efficiency.page break