Wellington Scoop

Wellington historian writing CMT history

Press Release – Peter Cooke
Around 86,000 NZ men were called up for compulsory military training (CMT) from 1950-72, and now Wellington-based historian Peter Cooke is calling them up again.

He wants their opinions for the first-ever authorised history being prepared on CMT and National Service.

This history has been commissioned by the CMT/National Service Association (North City Branch) and is due for publication in 2010. “No-one has deemed compulsory military training and national service to be worthy of a detailed balanced history – until now,” Cooke says. “Yet these men faced possible annihilation on an atomic battlefield – against their will! And they weren’t even allowed to join the RSA.”

A questionnaire has been drawn up to learn how they felt when called up or ballotted, how their training went and whether they had any physical or psychological problems. “We also want to know,” Peter Cooke said, “whether their training helped or hindered them in any way, what they got out of it and what their friends or family thought.”

The Questionnaire is for anyone who went through the three-month CMT or National Service training. The Word format .DOC file can be accessed from the author at the email address: petercooke@paradise.net.nz

Peter Cooke’s previous military works include Defending New Zealand (2000), The Gunners (2008), All Formed Up (2008), and histories of the Auckland-Northland Regiment and RNZEME.

For further information Peter Cooke CMT/NS Assn (Nth City Branch)

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Bruce Hill, 10. June 2009, 14:02

    Good to hear. It is a worthwhile project. As well as producing (at the time) a significant military outcome, the scheme had a significant social benefit for NZ. Could you imagine NZ producing an up to strength combat division of 20,00 men in just a few years, these days? Bruce Hill

  2. Mark Grayburn, 17. June 2009, 9:28

    I would like to email Peter and take part in his questionnaire on CMT service but having difficulty with his e-mail address. Can anyone help?

  3. David Blaiklock, 8. August 2009, 14:24

    I went into the 15th intake at Papakura Camp, a rather sensitive 19 year old, and found the whole atmosphere very repugnant. It led to obsessive long lasting effect of ‘army camp’ words in the mind. However, I wasn’t bullied..

  4. John Hannan, 9. August 2009, 12:36

    Anyone interested in further information can contact me:
    John Hannan, Secretary, North City Branch of CMT & National Service Association which has commissioned Peter to write the history

  5. Reg Ackland, 14. January 2010, 21:38

    I was in the 21st intake at Linton. I applied to go in early as a 17+yr old to avoid being away from my employment at a busy time.To me it was a positive experience, although the thought of having to serve realtime was a concern. Because both my father and grand father were called up, I fully expected to as well.

  6. Trevor Adams, 3. April 2010, 12:00

    Like Dave Blaiklock above,I too went into Papakura as a 15th intaker. I had tried feigning deafness, epilepsy and diabetes but the dim-witted MO missed all these diagnoses and deemed me fit for training. So,off I went to Pappy,f or basic training. A morbid interest in obscure medical disorders enabled me to keep the local sickbay authorities busy. I doubt these folk knew how much malice I bore them! One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was shooting on the Ardmore range. I was good at it. In idle moments I drew up “lists” of NCOs who would be the first to go – once we reached a battle-zone.
    After basic training I was sent off to Burnham Camp where corps training was a bit of a doddle for a grammar boy who had done biology!
    After CMT came the territorials where a commission came my way (keeping up a family tradition?)and from there on life was pretty rosy. I even had a couple of weeks as an RMO with the SAS!
    Military training didn’t complicate my training at Otago Medical School. In fact I think those involved in it may well have been somewhat advantaged – after all,quite a number of our tutors were also members of the territorials.

  7. Paul Donaldson, 9. May 2010, 8:39

    I was in the 19th Intake May? at Waiouru . It was a great time. I finished my training at Linton. I would like to hear from any others of the 19th Intake.

  8. Gerry Franklin, 28. June 2010, 22:38

    The 15 th intake at Linton was the camp I did my three months and after that Waiouru being the coldest place on earth, was were I finished each year off. You know I would not have missed it for anything and I am very glad and proud to have worn the NZ uniform and to be part of what it is now history. It made me a better person I feel sure. I only wish I kept the 15 intake picture to hang in a special place in my home.

  9. Malcolm Hair, 15. April 2011, 19:31

    Entered the 22nd intake at Waiouru May 1969, did my basic training,
    then on to Territorials as a Gnr. i appreciated the chance to prove to myself that i could take the challenge and discipline of the Army and
    now feel i am a better person for it.

  10. Peter Brady Reg No.349092, 18. May 2011, 16:41

    I was in the 27th intake Waiouru Scottish Regiment May 1958. As a smart assed 19 year old, I was looking forward to moulding the NZ Army to suit my personal requirements!! Boy was I wrong!! I hated it at first but soon learned to knuckle down. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever undertaken. The regular force soldiers who trained us I thought were bastards, but in reality were bloody good blokes. I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to serve my country in a very minor military way. I came out of it a far better man than when I entered. I would love to take part in any discussions or reunions that might ensue.

  11. Malcolm Faulls, 19. May 2011, 11:32

    As Vice-President of the North City Branch of the CMT and National Service Assn, I can now give an update on progress with the History. The Manuscript being written by Peter Cooke should be complete late in 2011 and we are looking to publish before ANZAC Day 2012. We need more Questionnaires to be sent to Peter, particularly from National Servicemen. To obtain a Questionnaire and to find out more about the North City Branch please E-Mail hmfaulls2@xtra.co.nz. We have an AGM with guest speaker being planned for 3 Aug and members are from the Wellington Region. CMT men and National Servicemen are now eligible for the NZ Defence Service Medal and if you are over 70 you can now apply. See the NZDF Medals website

  12. Gerry Franklin, 3. June 2011, 9:01

    Yesterday the long awaited NZDSM arrived in the mail and to me it was a proud moment. The medal is very well presented and as a migrant to this country it has made feel a part of it , and its history .
    For those who completed their three years and have not applied for the NZDSM, I would suggest they do so. Anybody with a picture of the 15th intake at Linton camp, it would be nice to obtain a copy.
    My email address is gmfrankin@gmail.com

  13. Steve Edwards, Howick., 26. August 2011, 17:02

    In the 18th intake to Papakura, & with father, 2 uncles, and several cousins all involved in the WW2 services, I was proud to wear the uniform, & have to confess that I was never fitter, slimmer or perturbed about military service. My childhood memories of my grandparents’ farm at Rangariri were of constant entertaining of service people on leave, & me stealing a sip of beer, whenever the piano was at full chat. I know the words to most of the wartime songs. I remember the Yanks arriving in Auckland, & some of the camps they were at.

    I signed on as a Territorial, &was “demobbed” in 1965.

  14. Phil Hough, 30. August 2011, 21:25

    I was in the 9th intake national service Feb 1964. Was a great learning curve for a young 20 year old. I came out a much fitter, and prouder person. Pity we don’t have it now.
    I am applying for the NZDSM medal, but can’t remember the exact dates of the 9th intake Waiouru.
    Can anyone help me with this???
    Phil Hough

  15. john saunders, 7. February 2012, 17:20

    did my time 22nd intake waiouru voluntary service, a result of my conviction all should serve. Still believe that and was proud to do it. I was 19, unfit and nackered the whole time, but made it . well worthwhile. I’m surprised there are still a few of us around. Served about 16 years with 3auck (mortars) . all the best to all of you . i did think i spotted a couple pf names in the lineup .ps what the hell’s north city?

  16. Brian Eastergaard, 19. February 2012, 12:47

    I was in the first intake of CMT and enjoyed it immensely; the best thing that could happen to many an 18 year old. Met many a good bloke; it should have carried on over the past 40 years as it would serve to give the young ones pride and a desire for all who could have participated to gain respect and self esteem. I went on to serve many a happy year meeting many a friend at camps. I now wonder where all of my CMT mates have gone or what they may have achieved in life.
    A couple of old names that come to mind – Brian Corp Spooner and Sgt “Pommie” Lakeland. They were the real Army that we had to look up to and show respect. As for the Brass, many a name flows through my memory. Anyhow I would like to hear from old mates that have not passed on like so many noticed in the RSA cvolumn. Those who are still around could possibly contact me at Wood Land Mews Wainuiomata
    Brian Sgt: an 80 year old.

  17. Peter Cooke, 5. March 2012, 11:26

    Really good to see that wellington.scoop.co.nz is keeping the discussion going on CMT/National Service, the history of which which was commissioned from me by the North City Branch (in Porirua), CMT/National Service Association. It is written and being handed to the publisher next week and so we expect it to be available in a few months time.
    I suggest former CMT/NSmen contact their local CMT/NS Assn branch for details of how to order.
    Peter COOKE
    CMT/NS Historian

  18. Brian Foote, Lower Hutt, 3. April 2012, 9:27

    I entered Linton Camp in May 1950 with 1st intake CMT. I was reasonably fit at the start so I found I could manage the fairly rigorous training particularly the long route marches with full pack and rifle to Palmerston North. Corps training was with 2INFWKSPS RNZEME stationed at Petone drill hall. I stayed on as a Territorial until 1957. I regret that I have lost contact with all those friends I made while in the Army, maybe some may call on reading this.

  19. Jim Hollis, 23. July 2012, 13:00

    I was in the 19th intake and thoroughly enjoyed it. Is Paul Donaldson the Paul I trained with for basic training and got left behind at weekend leave (naughty boy!)? I was in 3 Troop at Waiouru — HQ Squadron 1 Div Sigs at the end of basic, and remember Sergant Shaw, Cpl Crowther, and Major Tolley.Went to Linton first, then Waiouru and then Papakura. Yes, the NZDSM is a marvellous reminder of those times and I am proud to have it. I’ll wear is next Anzac Day as I did this year for the first time.

  20. John, 18. October 2012, 11:52

    I was in the 32nd intake, at Burnham Camp, which was the last compulsory Intake.

  21. Malcolm Faulls, 4. January 2013, 17:44

    The History of CMT and National Service has been sent to the Printers and a Book Launch is being planned for 25 March 2013. The North City Branch of the CMT and NS Assn is organising this. (North City is a local term used in the Wellington Region to describe the area from Johnsonville to Pukerua Bay.) The History will be available through both the several CMT/NS networks and through the normal retail outlets

  22. Yvonne Reynolds, 12. November 2015, 10:14

    My dad is looking to make contact with anyone who was in the 27th intake in 1958 in Papakuru, he started his military training in March 1958. Please contact me yvonnereynolds2304@gmail.com

  23. John Macnamara, 18. April 2017, 13:59

    I was called up in 1965 at the age of 18, however I did not get in until 1968. I was 21. I was in the 18th intake. It was 8 May. It was bloody cold and wet. I found the first 6 weeks tough but it made us appreciate life and respect. I now wish I had stayed on and joined the permanent army. I had four uncles who were in the army. Two went to ww1, only 1 came back. In 1939 three uncles went to ww2. I still believe we should have CMT.

  24. Noel Rugg, 25. April 2017, 18:14

    19th Intake at Papakura started my military service . Also became Papakura Camp Voluntary Fireman for my sins. Became corporal and later Sgt. Later joined Signals O Troop based at Camp Bunn with Capt. Tony Mortiboy and Lt Terry Lacy. After a few years and being balloted out I remained in Territorials for many years and those times created many memories. Assisted in publishing Signals memories book (name escapes me).

  25. Roger Langford, 13. October 2017, 15:03

    Have just come across this website and as a former national serviceman found all comments very interesting and they have brought back many memories of my service. Called up at 18 and entered Waiouru camp in 21st intake aged 21 and newly married. Ist anniversary in camp. Posted to Papakura to 16 field regt. LAD to 161Battery as Sgt. Served 2 years and got on so well rejoined for a further 5. Left when I moved away to Whitianga.
    Would like to hear from anyone I served with during those years; now living in Australia and wear my NZ Defence medal with enormous pride at the ANZAC parades.
    Roger Langford
    E/mail pam_roger@bigpond.com