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1 RNZIR Unit History

South Vietnam

Battle Honours

Roll of Honour

Unit nominal roll

Reunion 2012

Reunion 2010

Newsletter July 2009

Newsletter January 2010

Purchase Book: Voices from a Border War

Online Registration Form

Accommodation/Activities Form

Contact Re-union Organiser

Organising Team:
Chairman: Bill McDonald
Sec/Treas: Rolly Rolston
Brigadier Ian Thorpe
Mrs Pat Thorpe
Kei Merito
Henry Macown
Henare Morehu
Tony Fraser

Mailing Address
The Organising Committee
1 RNZIR (Originals) Reunion
c/- Rotorua RSA (Inc)
PO Box 1037
New Zealand
Landline Phone:
07 348 1055 Ext 1, ask for Rolly.
Cell Phone:
027 3222 518, Rolly Rolston.

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Mounting Medals

Details on website,

1 RNZIR 'Originals' Reunion - 2012

9 - 11 March
Rotorua, New Zealand

Tribute to Brigadier Robert Maynard [Bob] GURR OBE, MBE- passed away 27 January 2010.

The unit's former commanding officer, Brigadier Bob Gurr [Rtd] OBE, MBE, passed away peacefully in Australia on Wednesday 27 January 2010.

Brigadier Gurr was Commanding Officer [CO] of the First Battalion New Zealand Regiment on its posting on 9 Nov 1963, to the 28th Commonwealth Brigade Garrison located at Terendak near Malacca in Malaya. He therefore was CO when the unit became the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment [1 RNZIR] at Terendak on 1 April 1964, when the battalion received its new name. He relinquished that appointment on posting back New Zealand as part of the routine two-yearly roll over on 25 Nov 1965.

With service in World War II, his service number was 800117, Bob was a former Platoon Commander in 36 Battalion, 3 New Zealand Division during 1943. This was followed as a Troop Commander in the Divisional Cavalry Regiment in Italy 1944-1945. He then served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan during 1945-1946.

Bob's military career continued with:

The unit's actions on the Malay/Thai border, Malaysian Peninsula against Indonesian regular forces and in Borneo [Sarawak] against Indonesian regular forces are described in the book titled 'Voices from a border war: a history of 1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment 1963 to 1965 (Melbourne: R. Gurr, 1995). It is listed on a New Zealand Defence Force website Bibliography of New Zealand Military History as merely being among 'Other Conflicts'.

During its tour of duty in Malaysia the unit was heavily involved in achieving stability through the co-ordinated countering of external aggressive military forces. This campaign commonly referred to as the Malaysian Confrontation. A request has been submitted to New Zealand Defence Force for a section called Malaysian Confrontation be created and the book 'Voices from a border war' be listed in that section of the Bibliography of New Zealand Military History

Of those who served with the original 1 RNZIR unit based in Malaysia 1964-65, 288 subsequently served in the South Vietnam war with other units and sub units with 5 being killed in action.

A limited edition of 'Voices from a border war' was relaunched as hardback reprint during the forthcoming reunion in Rotorua. The details can be read on this page by clicking here.

Given the passing of the late Bob Gurr before the relaunch of his book, the following was his final message read at the 2010 reunion:

Dear Friends and ex Fellow Soldiers
Life and time is catching up with me otherwise I would have been with you to reminisce on the best recollections of my Army life.

Fortunately, I am well looked after. While I am not too mobile my brain is still okay and my wife, Barbara, and daughter, Victoria, have all been marvelously supportive.

I was looking at the map of Rotorua and remembering how much I enjoyed fishing at Lake Tarawera each year when the season opened. One of my oldest friends still lives there. I would have also liked to have seen him again.

May you all reunite and have a memorable weekend - I would have enjoyed being among you. Also, and importantly, may your lives be blessed with good health and your families likewise.

Good luck to you all, I think of you with great respect and affection.

Bob Gurr.


The following are the Reunion details and registration for the 'Original' members of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. The reunion is in Rotorua, Friday 9 March to Sunday 11 March 2012.

Former members can register for the Reunion by completing the email fields below, and submitting the information to the organisers.
Paper-based registration can be done by downloading the form from here and then print a copy.reunion attendance registration

Dress Code Definitions

Reference to dress is based on the occasion and defined by the following codes and minimum standard:

Friday 9 March, 2012

  • To be advised
Saturday 10 March, 2012
Saturday 13 March 2009
  • To be advised

Sunday 11 March, 2012

  • To be advised

Accommodation can be an individual concern or, the Reunion organisers can book for you. Click the web page link to download the paper-based accommodation Accommodation Reservation Form accomodationand then print a copy. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Registration fee:
To be advised
Cheque payable to:
1 RNZIR Reunion Acc.

Snail Mail
Reunion Secretary/Treasurer:
c/- Rotorua RSA (Inc)
PO Box 1037
Landline Phone:
07 348 1055, ext 1.
027 322 518

Register with 'Originals' 1 RNZIR Reunion 2012 Organiser

First and last name:
Name for name tag:
Attending Wife/Partner's name:
Name for name tag:
Attending the Reunion? YES NO , just update the records with my details.
Company/Sub-unit[Check] Bn HQ HQ A B C D Support Other:
Postal Address:

Street address:



Postal Code:
email address:


Click ONCE Only

'Voices from a Border War' Book

The book 'Voices from a Border War' reprint is a limited print at $60.00 each, orders can be made by going direct to Willson Scott publishers via their website , or by emailing the publisher, or by mailing a cheque to:

Willson Scott Publishing
PO Box 6006

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