Thread: NZMP
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Old 28-03-10, 05:30 AM
atillathenunns's Avatar
atillathenunns atillathenunns is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,347

Hi ProCoy,

New Zealand has a complex history of military police that dates back to the 1860s, as such there is a wide variety of NZMP badges and insignia to collect.

Unfortunately unlike our British and Australian counterparts, very little has been recorded regarding the badges and insignia that was worn by New Zealand military police during WW1, between the wars and during WW2.

The book “The Regimental Badges of New Zealand” (New Zealand badge bible) by D. A. Corbett, contains only one short paragraph relating to this period, which contains no real information of when or who wore these badges. What information is given is rather non-specific and unfortunately slightly incorrect.

My own research is still a work in progress, but I will try and fill in some of the blanks for you.

Pre WW1 the NZ military police were formed on a ‘as needed’ basis, that is to say at a military gathering an officer would be selected to act as Provost Marshal wearing only a “PM’ armband, sometimes an Assistant Provost Marshal would also be appointed wearing an “APM” armband. The men were drawn as a normal ‘picket’ chosen by the Provost Marshal and generally did not wear any specific insignia while operating as military police, at most only ‘MP’ armlets may have been issued.

During WW1 there was in reality three different groups of Military Police.
Permanent New Zealand Military Police (Home Service)
Camp Military Police
NZ Expeditionary Force Military Police

The Permanent New Zealand Military Police (Home Service) came into existence in January 1915, and were responsible for maintaining order of troops within Wellington city and guarding the wharfs. Eventually the Permanent New Zealand Military Police were also stationed in the Auckland, Canterbury and Otago districts.
Initially only an MP armband identified them.
On the 27th of February 1915 the Permanent New Zealand Military Police made their first appearance in Wellington wearing the ordinary Territorial cap, with the crown made of red material (Commonly known as red caps). The cap badge and shoulder titles worn were the straight NZMP brass badges. Each man when out on duty carried a cane.
As yet I have been unable to determine an exact date of when the Permanent New Zealand Military Police adopted the cap and collar badges as in Tintos photo. (However four different manufacturers of these badges have been identified).
I can also only speculate that the curved NZMP titles (which in reality are cut down NZ mounted rifles shoulder titles) were issued when straight titles ran out.

The Camp Military Police were appointed by the Camp Commander and were drawn from men of the various reinforcement drafts. Primarily they maintained discipline within the camps in New Zealand and at train stations and on trains going to and from these camps.
Initially the Camp Military Police were generally only distinguished by the issue of large white belts, but later as the reinforcement badge craze (unofficial) gripped the reinforcement drafts, specialised Camp Military Police cap and collar badges were adopted by some of the men. (Hopefully Pukman will post some pics of his CMP badges)
Some collectors maintain that straight CMP shoulder titles were also worn by the Camp Military Police, however I am somewhat inclined to think that they are British shoulder titles and nothing to do with the NZ Camp Military Police.

The NZ Expeditionary Force Military Police were formed at the outset of WW1, as had been the case before the war a Provost Marshal was appointed and men were drawn on a picket basis and generally served only for a set period of time in that capacity. Only an MP armband identified them.
It was not until late January 1916 that the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in London established its own Military Police. (Initially drawn from men who served at Gallipoli)
Generally speaking the members of the then new New Zealand Military Police Corps were distinguished only by a blue puggaree worn on the lemon squeezer. The men continued to wear the badges of the corps that they were drawn from.

All I got time for now.

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