When the New Zealand Infantry Division sailed for France, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade (NZMR) remained in Egypt and fought in Sinai and Palestine from 1916 to 1918. The NZMR was an efficient and highly-mobile force equipped with mounted riflemen along with machine gunners, signallers, engineers, veterinary staff, a field ambulance, transport and artillery and even 2 Camel Companies. The Mounted Division again encountered the Ottoman Turks in places such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan River.
By the time the Ottoman Turkish Army surrendered on 31 October 1918, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade had suffered some 1,700 casualties including over 500 dead.
Horses were the unsung heroes of the campaign. 10,230 were provided from New Zealand, mainly for service in Sinai and Palestine. Unfortunately at the end of the campaign the men were unable to take their horses home, so in many cases – rather than leave them for the locals and possibly mistreatment – the men took them into the desert and, heartbreakingly, put them down.