PARS ABOUT PEOPLE
Observer, Volume XXXVI, Issue 34, 29 April 1916, Page 4
PARS ABOUT PEOPLE
THE opinion of "Quilp N":—His Excellency, Lord Liverpool, swung a dirty one on to the public of Wellington and tts relatives of the Twelfth Reinforcements last week, when he reviewed those troops, almost by stealth, and a full Aveek ahead of the usual time. Only one of the Wellington dailies gave warning of the function-, and so contrary is human nature, the great public refused to believe the news, becaiuse it isn't in the neAvspaper, bo there AA'ere only twelA'e civilians to watch the review, or inspection. Even the men themselves did not know they A r ere to be paraded in the vice-regal presence until the night before. His Excellency absolutely loathes having any of the common herd present at any function or happening with Avhich he is connected. He has no human sympathy with the mother who is sending her son, the wife who is sending her husband, the girl who is sending her sweetheart to fight andi maybe die for those who stay behind in comfort. His Lordship doesn't seem to care and: yet—he is the First Gentleman in the land. © © & Mr Walter Blundell, one of the directors of the Wellington Evening "Post," rallied through Auckland recently, and took a flying leap on to the Niagara, just as that big packet Avas pushing off. Mrs Blundell Avas Avith him, and they are off across the Pacific to Vancouver, AA-here the heavyweight representative of the prosperous Blundell clan Avill mingle pleasure Avith business. Walter is sure to charm the Canadians, he can be so hearty and cordiial, in a vague, kindly, magnanimous sort of Avay. After they haA'e left him, they won't be able* to remember any definite item of important news that he told them, but they will know that he and his Avife think fondly of them, and will be pleased to hear of their success in life. Rumour has it that W.B. is going bo fill the Niagara Avith rolls of paper, AA'hich, if placed end to end, would, form an excellent imitation of a chain of beer barrels round a dry district, or, if unrolled and gummedi together, would extend from the EA'ening "Post" to Potsdam. Not long ago, the "Post" got in a big consignment of paper, and boasted that it would reach to the Pleiades 1 , or some such place of peace, where the inhabitants thank Heaven no newspaper has reached. It happened that the ladies Avho were giving the soldiers a Christmas dinner were looking for paper tablecloths. Walter's father, to wit, Johnny, was approached, and was oA'erpoAvered by the committee. So that the papyrus bridge to the Pleiades had to be given up for the time being. No doubt Walter -will bring back a few rolls of paper—of various kinds. © © @ Mentioned by a listener to Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett that the great Avar correspondent has two "defects" of speech, one a slight lisp and the other the dropping of the "g" at the termination; of a Avord. Aishmeadrßartlettl says "ridin' " "readin'," "speakin'," etc. It is, by the way, a "defect" that is not so regarded by the very "nicest" people, is common in judicial, political and 1 university circles, and accepted among aristocrats as correct English. The "nicest" people have dropped the terminal "g" because the "lower" classes are noAV so Avell educated' they use it, and you might just as Avell be dead as not distinctive. The Chancellor of the New Zealand University, Sir Robert Stout is, one supposes, a sufficient authority. He invariably drops the
"g." What a personage of his calibre may do, a mere person may accept as a precedent. As for the lisp, Avell, there is the Hon. Arthur Myers—he lisps. Tavo eminents at least have failed' to Avorry OA r ermuch even about the aspirate. The late Mr Seddon didn't care Avhere he dropped an aitch, and only those infinitely inferior to the great Imperialist worried about it. The other is the Bishop of London, who is eminent enough not to care whether he says " 'im" or "him." ® © © Captain Hall, chief of the Naval Intelligence Department, who has just been made an A.D.C. to the King, tells a characteristic story of Admiral Tirpitz. When Captain Hall Avas commanding the "Queen Mary"—which lie handled so brilliantly in the Heligoland Bight engagement—he once visited' Kiel, and Admiral Tirpitz's daughter came on board to lunch. The whiskered admiral, who had also engaged to come, sent instead some excuse; but after lunch, when Captain Hall was walking round the deck with Fraulein Tirpitz, her father's launch was seen making for the "Queen Mary." His daughter, who met him when he stepped on deck, presented him to Captain, Hall, saying in French to her parent, "I am so glad that you foundi it possible to come after all." To which . this specimen of the German; Kifncer and' gentleman replied sneeringly in the same language: "Oh, I only came as a joke!" Captain Hall, who understood and sipoke French better than either of them, had probably some difficulty in restraining himself from retorting upon his boorish visitor. <® © $ Corporal Athol Mills, of the 17th N.C.O.'s, up till last Aveek Auckland representative of A. I). Riley and Co., of Wellington, is in Trentham Camp. His wife, formerly Miss Bulkley—they Avere married only a feAV months ago— is staying with, a sister at Lower Hutt, and Avill presentry
move to a cottage near the camp gates. In the matter of leave for married N.C.O.'s the regulations are generous. Unless hubby happens to be orderly sergeant for the week, and provided he has not to attend lectures, he can get off every night at 5 o'clock. He must return, by midnight. At week-ends he can usually get off from midday Saturday until midnight on Sunday. There are so many married officers and N.C.O.'s in camp, including those on the staff, that the residential population in the Upper Hutt Valley has increased enormously by immigration,—further increases due to other causes must not be counted upon, as they may not take place in the Upper Hutt Valley. To get back to the track, however, it may be added that Corporal Athol Mills looks brown and healthy and good looking, even in a suit of blue denims, which is the first form of uniform the recruit receives. Khaki will suit him even better. Eventually there should be stars on his cuffs and shoulder straps, which should please his mother. ® © © A "Main Body Trooper" writes from Zeitoun Camp, Egypt. February 21st, 1916:—We are Avhat are left of the Main body N.Z.E.F., A.M.R. We are therefore not to be considered. Is there a promotion to be made, an Bth or 9th Reinforcement man gets it. Should you receive any consideration, it will be as junior. For instance, a certain signaller has served ever since August, 1914, Avas rated as a first-class signaller long before we went to Gallipoli, carried on at Anzac, both as telephonist and signaller, was wounded 7th August, 1915, returned to duty February, 1916. After tAvo Aveeks in camp, the 9th Reinforcements arm r e, and when the orders are read a 9th Reinforcement man is made corporal, while the old original is made lance-corporal. This goes on merrily the whole way through the piece, and is there no way the powers that be can be
brought to a sense of right? Just because our own officers have been, wiped out, are we such back numbers that Aye are out of the running because Aye were fools enough not to hang back for stripes and madly enthusiastic enough to come away Avith the original force. For the latecomers certainly receive all the plums, Avhile any man who has been under fire and got Avounded or gone sick is practically disqualified for further promotion, or, in fact, any promotion. He is a stranger among strangers Avhen he returns. This is a fact not the imagination of a diseased mind. © © © "Pen" :—Was surprised the other day at the enormous faith some people place In the pOAver of politicians. "I see," said an acquaintance to me, "that Mr Massey is going to set Gallipoli aside for all time as a sacred ground." When I pointed out to the gentleman that Mr Massey didn't own Gallipoli, and that at present neither England nor her Allies had any right to set foot on it, he Avas quite angry Avith me. What Mr Massey said Avas, "NeAV Zealand Avanted' Gallipoli set apart for all time as a sacred ground." I don't think even Mr Massey gets the real lK>int of vieAV, and I am perfectly convinced that New Zealanders belieA'e that the Gallipoli campaign Avas almost entirely a Ncav . Zealand matter. The real fact is that there Avere three times the number of casualties among merely British regiments than among NeAV Zealand regiments, and that the landings by British regiments were equally heroic. The Australian casualties were double those of NeAV Zealand. Without any action whatever by Mr Massey, there is no doubt that the Imperial GoA-ernment will automatically move in the matter of preserving the great graveyard sacred to English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, Australian: and NeAV Zealand soldiers. It isn't for a moment "AA'hat Ncav Zealand Avants"—it is Avhat the Allies (does Mr Massey comprehend what "Allies" mean?) are able to accomplish. Tremendous as they Avere, the actions fought by New Zealanders at Gallipoli AA'ere as a drop in the ocean. "NeAV Zealand," says Mr Massey, "stands for an outright Avin" ; so now the other inconsiderable tAA-o or three hundred million people of the Allies know what Mr Massey and one million colonials expect. © © © Lots of farmers knoAV the name of William Piatt, Avater diviner. He is a rival of Parson, Mason, and has found AA'ater on many an arid NeAV Zealand station. Moreover, he has diagnosed the exact amount of moisture that is likely to be found. But Mi- Piatt discovered' that not only Avater but coal and oil affected him Avhen he passed OA T er their deep hidden lairs. So William dropped the Avater game and took to the study of coal psychology. He buried a few shovelfuls of coal in his cabbage garden, blindfolded himself, and fell over the cucumber frames before his legs signalled that they were hot, that is, near the coal. He found this to be true. Later on, he Avent to Huntly, and askedi the mine-manager to try him out as a coal-picker— not a hewer. This Avas agreed to, and it Avas found that Mr Platts' outlining of the seams from aboA-e ground exactly coincided with the mine inanis. In the Wellington Province there are no coal mines. This seemed a good field for prospecting. For two years and a-half, William Piatt Avandered over the roads and valleys and hills between Kaitoke and the city. Suddenly he located such a ton of coal below the dirt that its magnetism knocked him doAvn. He got up again, and the coal knocked him doAvn again. Mind you, the place is seven miles from a rail- Avay, and. no one was shying coal about. The discoverer's belief in his poAA'ers is shared by some financiers, Avho are backing him in a boring experiment now being conducted on the place where W r illiam fell. When the coal is found they -will all be rich men, for the sea hath its pearls and the rivers are full of gold, but it's diamonds, black as well as white, that makes the dead easy money.
Noted in the Press that Mr David Robertson, who had been chairman i of the Clyde Quay School (Welling- ton) for 27 years, did not seek re- 1 election. Wellington knoAvs iron- : founder "Davie" as one of the 1 soundest and most reliable citizens i in Windyville, the sort of oldi Soot ' avlio listens Avith ill-concealed dis<- i dam to featherheaded "boards" and tilings talking all round 1 a subject, and then gets down to the point in a, feAv hard Avords in the Doric. One remembers Mr Robertson best as a member of the Board of BeneA r oleiit Trustees, and as a man AAdio, by sheer hardheadedmoss and soft heartedness, saAV injustices, and removed them. Davie has an instinct for frauds. He smells them out. It is quite a number of years ago since Mr Robertson sadly thought he Avouihl have to give up philanthropic •and other activities on account of failing eyesight, but he has evidently carried on until iioav with the deter mi nation that characterises all his actions. His twenty-seven yearn' chairmanship of the Clyde Quay committee is a record for such a position in New Zealand. © © © "GrahamstoAvn" writes:—As an exile from the beautiful toAvn of Thames, I have been distressed to find there are people in that delectable spot avlio are not sufficiently grateful for the town's incomparable human institutions. That, in fact, « person has been Avriting to the local paper suggesting that Harbourmaster Tom Bayldon, Mr Albert Bruce, secretary, and the AA'ell knoAvn local official .Mi- William Potts are occupying sinecures and almost suggesting these gentlemen's salaries might be saved and the Harbour Board be a sort of municipal offshoot. I am certain that the remo r al of these human institutions or any alteration, in the positions they occupy Avould cause a revolution at the Thames. It is impossible to think of Thames Avithout thinking of Albert Brace. It is not, of course., a question of a man doing a certain amount of AA r ork for a certain amount of pay, but the dignity and charm Avith Avhich a competent man may surround the position. • * * I call the attention, of the objector to the fact that eminent hnvyers are
paidi great retaining fees, even if their services are not availed of, and that Mr Albert Bruce's profound knoAvledge of maritime matters is at any time available to the authorities, AAlho are lucky in having him at their call. The bare idea of Captain Tom Bayldou mot holding his position, is too terrible—enough to make the flounders on the mud-flats green Avith agony. Tom Avithout his bag Avith Avhich. he collects the dues, Tom the genial recounter of the latest maritime neAv r s, Tom the authority on the tonnage of every ocean liner that ties up at GrahamstoAvn, Tom who knoAvs every board of the Avhole mile and a, half of wharf. Who is to paint the mark buoys if Tom is avrested from his job? Who is to erect barriers when Thames Old Boys from Aucklandi swarm all over the toAvn ? As an old Thames boy I resent any attempt made to either belittle or to underpay any of the human institutions Avho haA'e helped to make Thames great, and AA'ho so conscientiously arrange for the reception at stated periods of the celebrated paddle steamer Wakatere.
Stated that Mr H. J. H. Blow, 1.5.0., late Secretary for Public Works, Avas lately fareAA'elled by his staff, who gave him the ineA r itable punse of sovereigns. Mr Bloav is a nice gentleman. He is a A T ery good man. He has been a faithful, honest public servant. But the man avlio has been drawing a large salary as Secretary of Public Works for 25 years, and Avho retires on a pension that would keep four working men's families in comfort, should not accept a purse of sovereigns. When officers of a department give a big chief a purse of sovereigns it means that it is as nearly a compulsory business as anything that eA'er happened. It means, for instance, that a clerk Avith three pounds a Aveek has to fork out five shillings or more to give money to a man Avho is going to get more than fiA r e clerks from the State for the rest of his life. There are fat-salaried men who Avouldn't take it, but Mr Bloav doesn't seem to be amongst them. © © © You knoAV Van Veen of Northcote ? No? . WhereA-er have you been? Van is the Scotchman from Holland, a notable man in local body politics.
and a staunch upholder of the Union Jack. Mr Van Veen really has a i penchant for singing .Scots songs, but he has never in his life been ashamed that he is a Dutchman. Isolated NeAV Zealanders are apt } sometimes to believe that a. man who j doesn't speak English Avith a Pon- f son by accent is a, German—and Mr Van Veen doesn't speak in the Shelly Beach way. On a recent occasion the cheerful Van Veen Avas amusing his friends, Avhen a person stepped up to him and hissed the opprobious epithet, "You German!" Mr Van Veen Avas extremely agitated. "Vot is dat?" he asked. ' "You're a German!" replied the rude person. Don't know- Avhat they call it in Holland, but the thing Van sAVumg on to the gentleman AA r as what Aye call a "dirty left." Somebody tells one that Van danced a Highland Fling over the body of the fallen foe, but one expects that this Avas added to make a dramatic finish. V : ' © . © © Mr Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, the Avar correspondent avlio talks of countries as Aucklanders talk of suburbs, cast his keen but not particularly interested eye on a couple of attentive Auckland audiences lately. The impression Mr Ashmead- Bartlett gives one is that he is an intellectual person of the mathematical variety, not bothering much about persons, but very much concerned 'with .problems. Except on a subject of Avhich he had first-hand knowledge, Mr Ashmead-Bartlett Avould probably not be interesting. It isn't at all likely that he likes lecturing. He never gIoAATs, or becomes in the.least excited. He maintains a -well-bred composure, a mathematical coldness and a detachment from his audiences that is almost disconcerting, and Avhich is reminiscent of a professor pouring out his Avell conned -knowledge' in- a classroom. .Mr Ashmead-Bartlett does not smile, or become intense or oratorical. His is a, plain, simple statement of oA'ents as he has seen and studied them. He is most interesting Avhen he is supplying his own ideas of the results of the plans that have been made by soldiers. He impresses one, not as viewing the situation as a useful subject for a leetiuro, but as one which he, as a soldier, is capable of explaining. As a mathematician and a strategist, he is able to make marts speak to one. He shows reasons and causes, and his
geography is the geography of the traA'elled observer. • * • One very excellent .point Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett made Avas in reminding the people that besides the supermen of the colonies, there Aye re larger bodies of Imperial troops at Anzac and of French troops who, equally Avith the Anzacs, had AA r on imperishable glory. He attempts to stir no emotions, but he is able to leave the impression that the terrific sacrifices of Britain, France and Australasia have not been in A-ain, and he belieA-es that the whole of the Gallipoli Peninsula, of Avhicli the Allies held so tiny a section, -will yet be cut off by future operations. He does not deal in anecdotes or mdi duals or the human element, except that this element is necessary to aehioA'e certain results. Many of the excellent photos shoAvn by Mr Ashmead-Bartlett are already familiar, havring been extensiA r ely published. The audiences listened Avith the deepest respect to the lecturer, but at no time did he ever place himself on a le'el Avith his audience or endeavour to become .familiar Avith them, after the style of the experienced or natural lecturer. Accepting Mr Ashmead-Bartlett as the highest authority who lias visited us, it is useful to know that he earnestly believes that the Avar Avill continue for a A r ery long time, and that there is deep significance in the present movements of the Allies, particularly in the presence of Russian troops in France. & . ©. © For a long time past there has been one man of all the Trentham Cam]) staff who Avore civilian garb. His name Avas Cecil Dare Bridge, brother of Lance Bridge, AA r ho died so gallantly at Gallipoli, of Lieutenant Cyprian Bridge and Sergeant Lionel. Bridge, of the 3rd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, and also brother (rf Corporal Deciinus Bridge, of the 17th. N.C.O.'s. Air Dare Bridge, who is in charge of the Records Branch of the Camp, has now been granted the honorary .rank of lieutenant Avhile in his present position. So he mingles Avith the khaki eroAvd now, instead of being a noticeable in<lividual among them. The Bridges are a well known Wellington family, relatives of Sir Cyprian Bridge, the admiral, and" distinguished in the fields of sport.