LIFE AT WHAREPAPA CAMP
Waikato Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1800, 19 January 1884, Page 2
LIFE AT WHAREPAPA CAMP
TO THE EDITOR. Sir. — As a third class constable of this camp, 1 hope you will insert these few lines in your valuable paper. Our life is really miserable in this camp since we came here. And lately is is quite intolerable. A letter appeared in the Auckland Observer a short time ago giving some details how this camp was conducted. Al&o a letter appeared in your valuable paper, giving some details as to how road-making was conducted. Both of the=>e correspondents were quite correct in all their rein irks. As to road-making, I bhall with your permission make a few remarks. When we came to this camp we were 50 strong. Any ratepayer m this county would naturally think we would do a good deal of road work. But it was quite the reverse. About two of us would be sent on the road, and the remainder left in camp building whares for Captain Baker and Sargeant Webb. Then there were Captain Baker'b two servants, four sergeants, orderly-room clerk, the bugler, the carter, the mounted man, and Constable Fiyday. All these men were returned on the pay-sheets as working on the road. Whereas these men were always in camp. We ha c a second-class sergeant in charge of the road-work. A man totally unfit to be in charge of so important a job. He was all hit. life in the Navy before he joined the A.C. Force. So it cannot be expected he undoi stands much about road| making. When theie is any cutting to be done, or any cures to be made, some of us have to show him how to do it, and many a time have I instructed him in laying out the load. Yet tliis is the man who gets all the ciedit for road-making, &c. But he says a man can learn anything aboard ship. I It is amusing to see the sergennts trying to ! take le els. What one of them does to-day | another of them undoes to-morrow. That is the way we are piogressmg at the camp. j The few men that were bent on the road [ were hurried like blaPb, lo make up for thebe camp idlers. The result was about one-half of our best men got disgusted and cleared out. And there was very little use complaining about any injustice. If any of us made any remarks about how we were treated in the presence of our respectful sergeants we would pay pretty saucy for our complaint. The next thing would be some paltry charge brought against us, and we were fined one pound (fil)i or recommended for our discharge. And Captain Baker seems to favour the .sergeants always, no matter what the charge is. Go into the camp any day in the week, and you will see our hrst-class seigeant playing quoits, and amusing himself like some independent lord. Yet he is returned as working on the road. Also, Constable Fryday would be out enjoying himself with his dog and gun (and not particular to the season of the year), but he dined in Captain Baker's mess, and how nice it was to bring home a biace of pheasants to his honourable master for breakfast. I suppose that is the reason C. Fryday was granted so much indulgence (and always getting his road money). If Captain Baker would attend the road as iogular when Mr Clark is away as when he is nere, it would be better than leaving all in charge of the " bailor piince." I have been under him about three years, and can safely say I ne er saw him take the level of a road, or lay out any plan of cuttings, I think it is> near time some inquiry was instituted, or some of our sergeants or officers transferred to some other district, and replaced by competent men, capable of taking charge of a company. Any of the above statements I am willing to prove. Should any person doubt the veracity of my letter I shall give my name, and prove the above facts if required to do so. — I am, &c, Onk of the Road Paiitt. Wharepapa Camp, A.C. Force, 29th December, 1883.