NZ Cyclist Corps Badge

This badge’s description reads “New Zealand Cyclist Corps Badge – 1st Design, Winged Bicycle Front (handle bars and wheels) with Scroll ‘NZ Cyclist Corps'”.

It is easy to forget that although the internal combustion engine was first conceived in 1884, in 1914 the vehicles that used it were still unreliable and unsuitable for off road work. A British infantry division would have around 11 cars, 4 lorries, 19 motorcycles and around 5,592 horses. Horses however, were loud and required a huge amount of logistical support; everything from food to veterinary care. The Cyclist Corps was envisioned as a mounted infantry unit that could move quickly and quietly around a battlefield. However the bicycle was soon discovered to be unsuitable and ineffective for combat in the terrain of the Western Front. Instead it was used for recon and communication tasks. The Corps was disbanded in May 1919.