If you have ever been a serving sapper affiliated to the Corps of the Royal New Zealand Engineers then you can become a member of the Sappers Association (NZ) Inc. All you need to do to become a member is to register your name, rank, regimental number and all other relevant details on the downloadable form on the Contacts Page. The registration form is in two formats, a Word 2003 file or a PDF file. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required.)
Members of the Sappers Association can and do:
Network with many serving and retired Sappers, both from the regular (RF) and territorial (TF) force, plus others from kindred associations overseas;
Attend regular unit and Corps anniversaries, formal and informal gatherings, reunions, and a wide range of social and sporting events;
Support Corps sport tournaments undertaken by the RNZE serving Sappers;
Keep alive the espirit d' corps and comradeship of the Sappers throughout New Zealand and overseas;
Assist the scholarship bursary and awards processes and prizes;
Receive three newsletters each year (see further below);
Participate and support local branch activities;
Maintain links with fellow Sappers throughout New Zealand and overseas;
Support the Engineer Corps Memorial Centre (ECMC - Library and Museum) at Linton Camp;
Expand and grow the Association for the benefit of future members;
Assist with advocacy and support welfare assistance for the benefit of all members of the Association; and
Be part of a distinguished and proud RNZE history.
Members of the Sappers Association receive our highly popular newsletter that keeps our members current with:
Reunions, Anniversary's and other formal Association gatherings
Up to date information on "Sapper happenings" globally
Local branch meetings, parades and other information
Anecdotal memoirs and tales from the past
Lost Souls - where fellow sappers often are reunited with each other, and
Roll of Honour - our mates and colleagues - We Will Remember Them
Constitution: Read and print a current copy of our Constitution.
The Oxford companion to New Zealand military history
Have you read the book?
The Desert Railway: The New Zealand Railway Group in North Africa and the Middle East During the Second World War
Eight years it took for eight railway servicemen to write their stories, collect the stories of their comrades, remembering the many they left buried in the sands of the desert. They wrote this book so their grandchildren and great grandchildren would be proud of their heritage. They left their beloved country as volunteers, with the second and third echelons, returning after the end of the desert conflict, then they were quietly absorbed into the NZ war needs of the country. ONLY TO BE FORGOTTEN. Many people knew little of this "specialized" unit that caused Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (German Commander) to state in his memoirs "The Greatest Asset the Eighth Army had was The Desert Railway" and after the battle of Alamein, General Montgomery (British Commander) said "Now it is the Railways versus Rommel."
Seventy five of these men can proudly call themselves "THE RATS OF TOBRUK" for they manned the supply barges in Tobruk for the Australians. Lord Haw Haw (the German announcer) broadcasting from Germany referred to them as " The poor colonial boys that would be crushed like Rats In A Trap".
After printing 1000 copies (sold in seven weeks) the requests for a reprint amounted to several hundreds so the rights for world-wide distribution were handed over to Penguin Books and the control to The Sappers Assoc. (Only three of the committee survive.) The book is sold in all reputable bookshops and the ISBN is 0-143-01915-5. RRP $29.95.
So read the book and support your Association, - the royalties go to them.
Ex Chairman of the Book Committee
Footnote by Association President (Joe Hollander):
"The Desert Railway" is a great read and an excellent record, a tribute to the Sappers of the various Railway Construction, Operating and Survey units, known as the NZ Railway Group. The Association is indebted to the Book Committee for their generous offer of book royalties and the handing over of control of the book to the Sappers Association of NZ. This is a fitting acknowledgement and recognition of the sterling service provided by the NZ Railway Group during World War II and a memorial to the members of the Group now passed on.
A company that created a place for itself in the annals of New Zealand history.
Currently, the project is attempting to record the official history of the RNZE from the early 1860s, right up until 2010 ! Some of the existing official history publications already record the early NZ and Maori Wars, World War 1 and World War 2. However, there is no complete history of the RNZE which encompasses those early campaigns, as well as the more recent involvement of the Corps in Korea, Malaya/Borneo, Vietnam, the SW Pacific, SE Asia, Afghanistan, Iraq and so on.
The first phase of this exercise is to record by audio and video means, interviews with selected retired and serving Sappers, to ensure that we have a pool of anecdotal and factual history for the future compilation of a full written history of the Corps. This project was initiated in 1980 and several attempts have been made to compile suitable transcripts for further development into a history publication. The book 'Kiwi Sappers' by historian Dr Ian McGibbon, was commissioned to release a 'coffee table' book on the Corps, especially for the Corps Centenary in 2002-03. The official history project will build on that experience and more of a pictorial record, to ensure that the history of the RNZE is not lost to future generations.
More information will be provided on this project both on this website and in regular newsletters from the Association. If you are able to assist with this project, either in the form of providing key historical records or financial support, please contact the Association Secretary.
If you would like to become a member of the New Zealand Sappers Association Inc, please complete an application form found on the Contacts Page and post it to the secretary. Alternatively, if you would like to be kept up to date with information about reunions etc by being on the Sappers Database, email the Secretary on the admin email link below.
President: Vail ‘Hub’ Hubner, Mt Maunganui 3116 (07) 575 3787
“Immediate Past President – Joe Hollander, Palmerston North 4412, 06 3575497
Hon Secretary: Yet too be appointed
Hon Treasurer Chris Aimers Dunedin 9091 (03) 455 6718
Serving Sappers: Lyall Mooney, Palmerston North 4472 (06) 325 8885
Property: Yet to be appointed
Reunions: Yet to be appointed
Membership: Vail Hubner, Mt Maunganui 3116 (07) 575 3787
Website: Vail Hubner, Mt Maunganui 3116 (07) 575 3787
Face book: Rowen McKeany, Hamilton (07) 850 1805