Anzac day 2017

That time of the year (25 April) when New Zealand and Australia remembers and celebrates the service of our men and women of the Army, Navy & Air Force (see link to Anzac day 2016 Anzac day 2016).

Today is the 101st Anzac day and it seems to be gaining in importance for both countries each year. Even in my small home town (population of about 13,000 people) there were about 100 people present at this mornings dawn service at the war memorial. For myself I look on this time to not only acknowledge the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders but remember the sacrifices of all service people and thank them all for their service. So if you are reading this and are a former service person or you are currently serving, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Thought I would show a few of my Anzac related items, which you will hopefully find interesting.

Starting with perhaps my smallest item.Anzac day ftThis small tie pin is nine carat gold and is made up of both NZ and Australian iconography. Topped by the kings crown the central image of the Australian sunburst Image (used on the army’s universal cap/collar badge) and NZ Moa bird (could also be an Australian Emu) is surrounded by the NZ silver fern and is finished off with the base scroll with “ANZAC” engraved on it.

The back of this nice little tie pin that would have been worn by a proud former Gallipoli veteran.Anzac day bck

These three World War One medals were issued to a NZ serviceman who had served and survived the Gallipoli Campaign.Anzac day medalsThe medals are (from left to right) the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal (also known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred).

The impressing on the rim of the BWM and Victory and back of the 1914-15 Star, show they were awarded to 10/1245 Sergeant E. GRANT, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.Anzac day medals name

10/1245 Ernest GRANT landed on the Gallipoli Peninsular on the 25 April 1915 with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. After serving in the 7th Wellington West Coast Regiment from the landing for just over 4 months, he was attached to the Brigade Headquarters as a cook. Like many who served on the peninsula, his health suffered and in October he was evacuated off Gallipoli to Number 2, Australian General Hospital, Mudros with diarrhea. In January 1916 he left the island of Lemnos being evacuated to Cairo on the Australian hospital ship Asturias. After a period of recuperation in Egypt and training and instruction in the United Kingdom he then went on to serve with the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, in France. He survived the war and even went on to serve at home in the Second World War. He passed away in Nelson, New Zealand in May 1956.

My last item was for a New Zealander who did not make it back home from Gallipoli being killed there on the 3 May 1915.

I have a strong interest in collecting both the official and un-official ways of commemorating New Zealand’s war dead and this particular piece is one of my favourites.Anzac day memAnzac day mem clse


Stanley MURCOTT was from Otago in the South Island of New Zealand and enlisted for service in the 1st NZ Expeditionary Force on the 26 August 1914. He landed on ANZAC cove on the 25 April 1915 with the 4th Otago Company, Otago Infantry Battalion. The 2nd to 3rd of May 1915 was a bad time for the Otago Battalion. They were assigned to launch an attack up Monash Gully in an attempt to help Godley’s New Zealand & Australian Division seize Baby 700. The attack on the 2nd May began badly with the Otago’s arriving one and a half hours late at the jump off point because of unfamiliarity with the terrain, the weather and descending darkness. The attack was a total failure: no ground was gained, and there were about 800 casualties. The Otago’s lost about half their strength as killed, wounded and missing. During the morning of 3 May the remnants of the Otago Infantry Battalion mustered on the beach over half the men were absent from the roll call. Of the 4th Otago’s alone, only 57 out of about 200 answered the roll call.

Stanley’s name, along with others from the district, on the Hampden War memorial.Hampden War Memorial



Royal New Zealand Navy, Rear Admiral’s Uniform

Chief NavyOf the three services the Navy is a bit of red headed stepchild in my collection. However, I do have this uniform though and it is a pretty good one since it was once worn by a Chief of the New Zealand Navy.

Chief of Navy (CN) commands the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and is responsible to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) for raising, training and sustaining those forces necessary to meet agreed government outputs. The CN acts as principal advisor to the CDF on Navy matters, and is the most senior appointment in the RNZN. The rank associated with the position is rear admiral, and CNs are generally appointed on a three-year term.

The position was originally created as Chief of Naval Staff and First Naval Member upon the formation of the RNZN on 1 October 1941. The title changed to Chief of Naval Staff in 1970, and CN in 2003

A close up of the rank braid for Rear Admiral.Chief Navy rank braid

The ribbons are (from L to R); New Zealand Order of Merit (Officer), Royal Victorian Order (Member), New Zealand Operational Service Medal, New Zealand General Service Medal (non-warlike), New Zealand Armed Forces Award with Rosette.

Chief Navy ribbons

The Order of New Zealand Merit

NZ order of MeritInstituted in 1996, the New Zealand Order of Merit has five levels: Knight or Dame Grand Companion (GNZM), Knight or Dame Companion (KNZM / DNZM), Companion (CNZM), Officer (ONZM) and Member (MNZM). Appointments to the New Zealand Order of Merit are made for meritorious service to the Crown or the nation and to those who have become distinguished in their particular field of endeavour. The number of living Knight or Dame Grand Companions at any one time is restricted to 30. Appointments to the remaining four levels are limited to 15 Knight or Dame Companions, 40 Companions, 80 Officers and 140 Members per year.

The Royal Victorian Order

Royal_Victorian_Order_UK_ribbonMembership in the Royal Victorian Order is conferred by the reigning monarch without ministerial advice on those who have performed personal service for the sovereign, any member of his or her family, or any of his or her viceroys. All living citizens of any Commonwealth realm, including women since 1936, are eligible for any of the five levels of the order (Member, Lieutenant, Commander, Knight/Dame Commander, Knight/Dame Grand Cross).

The NZ Operational Service Medal

NZOSMThe New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) was instituted in 2002 for award to New Zealanders who have undertaken operational service since 3 September 1945. The start date is the day after the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, and is also the day after qualifying service towards medals for Second World War service ended. The NZOSM provides specific New Zealand recognition for operational service, and is awarded in addition to any New Zealand, Commonwealth or foreign campaign medal. It is awarded once only to an individual, regardless of how many times he or she has deployed on operations. Operational service is service which exceeds the normal requirements of peacetime service, and which involves a credible military threat from enemy military forces, insurgents, or other hostile forces.

The NZ General Service Medal (non-warlike)

NZGSMThe New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 was instituted in 1992. It was issued in bronze to recognise service in non-warlike operations for which no separate New Zealand, British Commonwealth, United Nations or NATO campaign medal was issued. Thirteen clasps have been issued for non-warlike (peacekeeping) operations since 1954 in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

The NZ Armed Forces Award

NZAFAThe New Zealand Armed Forces Award was instituted on 6 May 1985, for award to Regular Force officers of the New Zealand military who have completed fifteen years unblemished service. Clasps are awarded for each additional fifteen years unblemished service. On the ribbon bar the addition of a clasp is signified with the addition of a rosette to the ribbon.

Above the ribbon bar is the trade badge for Principle Warfare Officer. Their job is to “drive and command the warships”. They are responsible for the safe passage and navigation of the ship at sea and manage the bridge staff and ship routines while on watch. The two piece badge has a gilt front profile of a ship topped with the queens crown and crossed with a sword and taiaha. The taiaha is a traditional Maori weapon which has a spear point at one end and a flat paddle shaped blade at the other. The second silver piece is a representation of two silver fern fronds and serves as the backing with the clutch back pins on the back.

rear Admiral

The Chief of Navy who wore this uniform joined the NZ Navy as a sub-lieutenant in 1980 and During his naval career served aboard the ships HMNZS Taranaki, HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Wellington. While on exchange to Australia for two years he also served onboard the HMAS Watson, HMAS Adelaide, and HMAS Parramatta. He also served as the commanding officer of HMNZS Pukaki, HMNZS Waikato and HMNZS Te Mana.