1st Canterbury Mounted Rifles Collar Dog

Flag_of_New_ZealandThis is a WW1 era collar dog for the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, or 1st Canterbury Mounted Rifles.

The 1st (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry) Regiment was officially raised on 17 March 1911. It was one of 12 regionally based mounted rifles regiments formed as part of the new Territorial Force (TF) organisation that came into existence on that day. This part-time Territorial Force and a tiny regular force of professional soldiers formed the basis of New Zealand’s army at the outbreak of the First World War.

Instead of mobilising the TF, however, the government decided to raise a separate force to send overseas to fight – the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). In 1914 the new mounted regiments of the NZEF were given provincial names corresponding to the military district in which they were raised – Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury or Otago. This gave them some sense of regional identity.

The NZEF mounted regiments were instructed to affiliate each of the three squadrons under their command with a TF mounted rifles regiment from their military district, and to issue the regiment’s badge to the squadron. The idea was to foster linkages with the established TF regiments that were not being sent overseas. So the badge of the 1st (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry), TF, was worn by the 1st (Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, NZEF, throughout its service in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

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