Coronation Trophy

Compulsory Military Training (CMT) was the tool utilised to build and sustain the New Zealand Army Divisional structure from 1950 to 1958. Instituted under the provisions of the Military Training Act 1949 and supported by a public referendum, CMT was an ambitious scheme designed to turn individual recruits into capable soldiers. CMT obliged eighteen-year-old males to undertake fourteen weeks (later reduced to ten weeks) of Initial training followed by a three-year commitment to serve in the Territorial Army, with a six-year reserve commitment. The CMT experience began with fourteen weeks of recruit training conducted at Papakura, Waiouru, Linton and Burnham, after which recruits spent three years posted to a Territorial unit. Unlike previous peacetime compulsory military training schemes that have been a feature of New Zealand life since 1909, the 1949 system trained personnel for postings to Territorial Ordnance units.

By 1953, over 28000 young men had been called up and trained in ten CMT intakes with the scheme becoming an accepted feature of life in post-war New Zealand.[2]

As a practical way of celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the achievement of men completing their CMT recruit course, All Ranks of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) of the Central Military District presented to the Central Districts Training Depot at Linton Camp the Coronation Trophy.

Taken into use from the 11th CMT intake which marched into Linton Camp in September 1953, the exact criteria for the presentation of the trophy have been long forgotten, and it is assumed that it was awarded to an outstanding student of each CMT intake.

A simple trophy based on a 25-Pounder Cartridge Case mounted on a wooden base, the Coronation Trophy consists of the following elements.

  • The Badge of the New Zealand Regiment, which provided the instructors to conduct the CMT intakes.
  • NZ Fernleaf collar badges which was the insignia the CMT recruits wore.
  • The Badge of the RNZAOC, who donated the trophy.
  • A plaque describing the trophy.
  • The names of the trophy recipients engraved directly on to the shell case.

Trophy Recipients

11th Intake, 24 September to 8 December 1953

  • 378410 Private H Maniopoto, D Coy

12th Intake, 5 January to 19 March 1954

  • 552311 Private R.J.W Oakden, E Coy

13th Intake, 22 April to 6 July 1954

  • 461942 Driver C.R Beamish, F Coy

14th Intake,19 September to 30 November 1954

  • 690997 Private M.E Barnes, F Coy

15th Intake, 6 January to 22 March 1955

  • 912767 Sapper W.G Draper, E Coy

16th Intake, 31 March to 15 June 1955

  •             676652 Private D.H Hart, D Coy

17th Intake 23 June 1955 to 6 September 1955

  • 528553 Private J.H.S Courlay, E Coy    

18th Intake, 15 September to 29 November 1955

  • 424424 Private  J.R Davis, D Coy   

19th Intake, 5 January to 20 March 1956

  • 623237 Private S Bartlett, E Coy

20th Intake, 5 April to 19 June 1956

  • 593901 Private J Allison, D Coy   

21st Intake, 28 June to 11 September 1956

  • 825647 Sapper T.C Thomas, School of Military Engineering

22nd Intake, 20 September to 4 December 1956

  • 624612 Private D.H Chase, D Coy 22 Intake

23rd Intake, 3 January to 19 March 1957

  • 522938 Private M.D McConachie, D Coy

24th Intake, 2 May to 16 July 1957

  • 579858 Private D.T.T Buchanan, D Coy

25th Intake, 22 August to 5 November 1957

  • 827130 LCpl P.A Gill, Training Squadron, Royal New Zealand Engineers

26th Intake, 3 January to 19 March 1958

  • 915184 Sapper I.R McEwen, Training Squadron, Royal New Zealand Engineers

27th Intake, 1 May to 15 July 1958

  • 827495 Sapper B.R Smart, Training Squadron, Royal New Zealand Engineers

A changing political landscape brought an end to CMT in 1958, with the men who had completed the final intakes having a reserve commitment until 1966. No longer required, the Coronation Trophy was quietly retired and forgotten about.

Today the Coronation Trophy is now included in the extensive collection held by the Royal New Zealand Engineer Corps and on display at the RNZE Corps Memorial Centre (ECMC) Museum at Linton Camp.

NZE Corps Memorial Centre (ECMC), Linton Camp. © 2020 Royal New Zealand Engineer Charitable Trust (RNZE CT)

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