Sub-Branch of South Canterbury RSA inc.
Ph: 03 685 8439
264, Fairlie-Tekapo, RD 17, Fairlie 7987
Ph: (03) 685 6282, Mob: 0274 818 689,
The Mackenzie RSA is a non-profit Incorporated Society that distributes the money raised from ANZAC poppy sales to veterans, community organisations and the needy of the community.
The bulk of the ANZAC Poppy sales are made at the Mackenzie A & P Society Show each Easter Monday.
The Mackenzie RSA also organises the Armistice Day and ANZAC commemoration services in Albury and Fairlie.
11 Nov each Year - Armistice Day - commemoration service at Albury 11.00 am.
25 April 2011 - ANZAC Day - in 2011 ANZAC day falls on Easter Monday the day of the Mackenzie A & P Show. The Mackenzie A & P Society and the Mackenzie RSA have agreed to hold the ANZAC Day commemoration service as part of the show programme.
This will give us the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made in two major conflicts by the horses of New Zealand. "Horses at War" will be the focus of the commemoration which will include a procession of horses dropping ANZAC poppies at the base of a flag pole in the Show Arena. There will also be static displays of cavalry and Army memorabilia.
Ref: "The Fight for Empire" by John
"Devils on Horses" by Terry Kinlock
Commemoration services held on ANZAC Day normally focus on remembering the sacrifices made by servicemen in the service of their country.
In 2011 ANZAC Day has fallen on the same day as the Mackenzie Highland A & P Show and this gives us the opportunity to commemorate and acknowledge the sacrifice made by the horses of New Zealand that traveled overseas with mounted soldiers to The South African War 1899 - 1902, and the First World War 1914 - 1918.
The South African War 1899 - 1902
New Zealand sent over 6,500 troops to South Africa in 10 Contingents and with them went over 8000 horses. The month long trip to South Africa by troop ship proved to be the first trial for the horses with the mortality rate high due to illness such as pneumonia.
All the horses suffered after arrival in South Africa because of the failure of the British Army to give them a period of rest so they could acclimatise before being committed to battle.
Operations during the War required long treks under harsh conditions and any sick or injured horses were destroyed to prevent them falling into enemy hands. The replacement process resulted in the British forces using over 400,000 horses during the conflict.
Only one horse returned to New Zealand after the South African War. "Major" was owned by a Lt Collins and served with a number of different men after Collins was wounded. "Major" was twice wounded in action and after the conflict ended, was taken to London by a Colonel Porter as part of the 1902 Coronation Contingent before returning to NZ.
First World War 1914 - 1918
Eleven weeks after the out break of the First World War in 1914, 8,500 men and 4000 horses sailed from NZ bound for training in England prior to joining the war in Europe. While they were still at sea Turkey joined the war and the convoy was diverted to Egypt to train and to help defend the Suez canal. After taking part in the Gallipoli campaign without their horses, what was left of the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade was evacuated back to Egypt.
Re-united with their horses, the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade, now numbering 1,850 crossed the Suez on Easter Sunday 1916 to take on the Turkish Army in the Sinai Desert, Palestine and the Jordan Valley. The horses were in good condition after eight months rest in Egypt while the riders were at Gallipoli, but they now experienced real hardship and the health of the horses was a matter of constant anxiety. The lessons learnt in South Africa meant that strenuous efforts were made to keep the horses fit and healthy in the inhospitable desert where there was no grass and all fodder had to be brought forward from the Suez canal. In spite of all possible care the horses began to fall away in condition due to lack of proper rest, and constant replacement horses were required.
Turkey was forced out of the war in Oct 1918 but the NZ Brigade's return to NZ was delayed until mid 1919 due to lack of shipping. This and the British need for horses in Egypt meant that only one horse returned to NZ from the Middle East. This lucky horse was "Bess" who served 3 years in Egypt and Palestine, transferred to France in late 1918 and was shipped home in April 1920. She died peacefully at the age of 24 at Flock House near Bulls in 1934.
The sacrifice made by these horses has largely gone unheralded
due to the lack of a NZ war correspondent in the Middle East.
Proposed Order of Service: Mackenzie A&P Society Show 2011