One of my favorite NZ cap or Collar badges is this one…..
It is the badge for Queen Alexander’s Wellington West Coast Mounted Rifles or simply Q.A.M.R. In the middle of the badge is a NZ native Punga tree, surrounded by a garter and at the base is the motto, in Maori, “Ake Ake Kia Kaha” in English “For ever and ever be strong”.
The Q.A.M.R. 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. The badge of the 2nd Queen Alexandra’s (Wellington West Coast) Mounted Rifles Regiment was worn by the 2nd Queen Alexandra’s (Wellington West Coast) Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment throughout its service in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns. During the Second World War (1939–1945) many volunteers from Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles served overseas in various units, particularly in the 2nd NZ Divisional Cavalry Regiment. This regiment fought in Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy. Some men also served in the Long Range Desert Group.
Following the Second World War the regiment underwent a series of name, role changes and amalgamations.
From 1994 until 2002 most members of the regiment gained operational experience operating M113A1 armoured vehicles in Bosnia-Herzegovina and East Timor. In 2004, the unit down sized to a squadron, began re-equipping with the NZLAV, a version of the LAV III armoured vehicle especially developed for the New Zealand Army. In 2005 the unit moved to Burnham Military Camp.
In December 2011, Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles was formally re-formed as a regiment from its previous squadron size, with the sub-unit formally known as QAMR being dubbed NZ Scottish (NZ Scots) Squadron.
Currently the regiment is made up of:
- Regimental Headquarters (RHQ),
- 3 x Squadrons (New Zealand Scottish (disbanded this year), Wellington East Coast (WEC) and Waikato Mounted Rifles (WMR) Squadrons), and a
- Support Squadron
Below is modern Q.A.M.R. cap badge (badge dates from the time it was downsized to a squadron in 2004). The most noticeable difference is that method of securing the badge is now with clutch backs.
There is another version of this badge that has a mountain (Mt Taranaki) behind the punga tree.
Below is a nice shot of the Q.A.M.R. parading for its 150 celebrations. Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles is the oldest serving Regular Force unit of the New Zealand Army.
The mounted troopers with slung Lee Enfield’s and ammo bandoleers commemorating their origin as a Mounted Rifles unit.