3rd Auckland Regiment Cap Badge
Cap badge of the 3rd (Auckland) Regiment, New Zealand Infantry (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own). The Regiment was affiliated to the Suffolk Regiment in 1913 in recognition of the latter’s service in New Zealand between 1860 and 1867.
3rd Auckland Regiment
On 30 January 1913 ‘the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the 3rd (Auckland) Regiment (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own), New Zealand, being shown in the War Office Army List as allied to the Suffolk Regiment’. This was in recognition of the part played by the Suffolk Regiment in the Maori Wars between 1860 and 1867.
The history of the Auckland Regiment starts with the formation of the ‘Russell, Bay of Islands’ volunteers in 1845. The early militia units first saw service in the Maori wars, starting with the campaign in Northland against Hone Heko and Kawiti in 1845. In later wars against the Maori Major Charles Heaphy, of the Auckland Militia, won the first Victoria Cross awarded to a New Zealander. The various independent Auckland militia units, each with its own individual distinctions, uniforms and culture, went through a number of reincarnations during the latter half of the nineteenth century, culminating in the formation of the Auckland Regiment in May 1898.
One year later the Regiment’s first set of Colours, which included the first New Zealand Ensign presented to a New Zealand military unit, was presented by Lady Constance, the Countess of Ranfurly, wife of the Governor of New Zealand. It was from Lady Constance that the Regiment took, as part of its title, ‘The Countess of Ranfurly’s Own’. Shortly afterwards Aucklanders were in action again, with a contribution to the New Zealand contingents that served in South Africa during the Second Anglo-Boer War. These men earned the Regiment its first Battle Honour – ‘South Africa 1900-1902’.
The Great War saw over 13,000 men serve with the Auckland Regiment of whom some 2,220 died. The Auckland Battalion was the first New Zealand unit to land at Gallipoli in the early morning of 25 April 1915.
The Second World War saw Aucklanders again serving overseas in Greece, Crete, North Africa, Italy and the Pacific.
In 1964 the Auckland Regiment amalgamated with the Northland Regiment to form one of the six regional Territorial Force Battalions which continue to serve today.
The upraised armour-clad arm holding a sheaf of wheat is taken from the coat of arms of the Eden family, Lords Auckland, after whom the city and province of Auckland are named.