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1 RNZIR Unit History
South Vietnam
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Reunion 2010
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Contact Re-union Organiser
Organising Team:
Chairman: Bill McDonald
Sec/Treas: Roly 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,

While 1 RNZIR 'Originals' Battalion was posted at Terendak Military Camp in Malaya with the 28th Commonwealth Brigade, 17th Gurkha Division, the members were replaced on a rotational basis from November 1965 onward. The posted strength for the Battalion during its full tour of duty from November 1963 to Noevmber 1965, was 981 personnel.

The operational campaigns the Battalion was engaged in during its tour of duty from November 1963 to November 1965, included:
  • Malay/Thailand Border - 1964
  • Malay Peninsula against Indonesian regular military forces - 1964
  • Borneo against Indonesian regular military forces - 1965
The continuing Battalion served a tour of duty in Borneo and then committed a Rifle Company to South Vietnam in May 1967. The first Company was designated as V1, better known as Victor 1. It was replaced by subsequent sub-units with the last being V6 on withdrawal from South Vietnam in 1971.

Another rifle company was also committed in December 1967, designated as W1 and better known as Whiskey 1. Both rifle companies served as integral sub-units with Australian infantry battalions based at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province. The Australian Battalions were officially designated the title RAR/NZ [ANZAC] Battalion.

The uniqueness of the legendary 1 RNZIR 'Originals' Battalion is demonstrated by the number of members who subsequently served in South Vietnam following the Unit's return to New Zealand in late 1965. Given their combat and guerrilla warfare skills, the members performed their duties with distinction.

1 RNZIR 'Originals' Battalion Reunion

The Battalion members next Bi-annual Reunion is in the year 2010.

Service in South Vietnam

Many members of the Battalion went on to subsequent service in South Vietnam with sub-units such as the 161 Battery and various rifle companies, such as Whiskey 1 and Victor 3 Infantry Rifle Company's. The company's embossed the 1 RNZIR flag in a style depicting the sun-unit as shown for the V4 flag infantry rifle company flag

Of those with subsequent service in South Vietnam there is a statistically significant number now deceased from causes attributable to abnormal health disorders and diseases to a greater extent than the population norm.

Given the Battalion's 981 personnel posted strength, 288 members subsequently served in South Vietnam from the mid-1960's up to New Zealand Defence Forces withdrawal in 1971.

The numbers for 1 RNZIR 'Orginals' who subsequently served in South Vietnam and percentaged of those deceased as at 12 March 2006, are shown in the following table.

No. % of No.
South Vietnam Service, all inclusive 288 29.4% of Battalion who Served 1963 to 1965
Killed in Action [KIA] 5 1.7% of 288
Deceased at 16 July 2009, less killed in action 86 30.38% of the 283 personnel who served in Vietnam

New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 [Warlike

The award of the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 [Warlike] was made to members of the battalion who had served on the Malay/Thai border in early 1964 when based at Terendak Military Camp in Malaysia.

Terendak Military Camp had forces stationed there as part of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade of the 17th Ghurka Division.

The NZGSM 1992 [Warlike] medal was created by the New Zealand Government for campaign service for which no other medal had been awarded.

Pingat Jasa Malaysia Award [Malaysia Honour Medal]

The Malaysian Government medallic award to eligible New Zealand military personnel is in appreciation of their service in Malaysia with the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve from Independence on 31 August 1957 to 31 December 1966. The award is to all members of Civil Servants, Police and the Armed Forces under the Commonwealth, this includes the United Kingdom and Australia.

pingat jasa malaysia medal of honour In all possible circumstances, senior representatives from the Malayasian Government will present medals personally to recipients. This includes posthumous awards to next-of-kin.

Applications for the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal from eligible New Zealand personnel and deceased next-of-kin are being administered by the New Zealand Defence Forces Medals Office as agent for the Malaysian Government.

Information on eligibility is detailed at the New Zealand Defence Force website. This includes the various RNZN ships that served in the region.

Applications for the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal by eligible personnel are made in the format as described at Applying for Medals, where application forms can be downloaded for living and deceased persons.

For next-of kin making application for posthumous issue of the award on behalf of a deceased veteran, click here to download an application form.

Updated 16 September 2009. Webmaster, Victor R Johnson. Contact Webmaster, email webmaster