4th Otago Regiment Cap Badge

Flag_of_New_ZealandThis cap badge is for the 4th Otago Rifles. The badge has the battle honour “South Africa 1901-1902” making it a pre WW1 2nd pattern badge.

The history of the 4th Battalion (Otago and Southland) Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment can be traced back to February 1860 when the Dunedin and Invercargill Militia Battalions were established. The militiamen of the day were not volunteer soldiers as all males between the age of 18 and 60 were liable for military service at that time. In 1861 the Tokomairiro and Clutha Battalions were formed. Local enthusiasm was not enough to gain Government recognition so volunteer soldiering was conducted on a quasi-official manner for some time. The first officially recognised volunteer unit in the Otago and Southland provinces was the Otago Rifle Volunteers, which was gazetted as a Company on 5th February 1862. In 1898 the 1st Battalion Otago Rifle Volunteers was established. The formation of this unit apparently stimulated further public interest as by 1892 the Battalion consisted of fifteen Rifle Companies.

During World War I the provinces produced the Otago Regiment with companies from the 4th Otago, 8th Southland, 10th North Otago and 20th South Otago battalions. The Otago Regiment served with distinction in Gallipoli and France taking particularly heavy losses in the battle of Passchendaele. New Zealand’s most decorated soldier ever, Sgt Dick Travis earned his VC and other medals serving with the Otago Regiment.

rsz_4thotago1 rsz_4thotago2

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