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Divisional Trench Mortars

The unit was formed in France during World War 1. There were three batteries, 'X', 'Y' and 'Z', and the very powerful support they gave to the Infantry was greatly appreciated. At cutting wire entanglements, the great bane of the Infantryman, they were far better than the field guns.

The mortar batteries were formed just before the New Zealand Division went into action at Armentieres (May 1916), and came to be regarded as indispensible in almost every action in which the Division took part.

Each battery consisted of four mortars. For the last few months of the war they became mobile, as shown in the photo.

An excellent example of a 6-inch mortar may be seen in the Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru - one which escaped the scrap merchants!
SBML 6-in mortar

SBML 6-in mortar.
An example of Kiwi ingenuity.
A carriage designed by the Divisional Trench Mortars to meet the changed conditions of fighting in the last advances of 1918.

SBML 6-in mortar

SBML 6-in mortar.
Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru, NZ.

Text: Wally Ruffell
Read more about the development of the Mortar