WELLINGTON, April 16
Some remarks were made by Air F. V. Frazer. S.M., at the Magistrate's Court in regard to the disinclination of somq soldiers' wives to settle down to normal home life. The matter was brought up during the hearing of evidence in regard to an application made by Victoria Johns against her husband, Giles F. Silvester Johns, for separation, maintenance, and guardianship orders, on the ground that the defendant had failed to provide adeaiifite mainteziance for complainant and two children. The complainant said that though her husband had returned from the front on February 21, and had obtained a position in the Defence Office at £3 15s nor week, she had not received any money from him since his return. During; the cross-examination it was elicited that the wife had had several days' notice of her husband's return, but at that time was at Wanganui lookiiic after a business of her sister, who was then in Auckland. The defendant stated that ho had allotted all his military pay to his wife, with the exception of. 6d per day., and after his promotion to the rank of corporal, with the exception of Is 6d tier day. His wife had received £14 14s out of his military pay since he had returned to New Zealand, and also £^ 10s out of the sum which he had saved from his Is 6d per das^. Complainant also admitted having won £15 at the Wauganui races, and having received in all about £40 from the.Patriotic Society at-various times. While defendant was at the front she had been getting between £15 and £16 per month from her hur-band. The defendant had obtained his discharge on March 21, and immediately .started work in the Defence Office at £3 15s per week. At tlxe end of March he drew £3 2s 6d. and had nothing further to come, till the end of the next month. His wife had fono away without giving him any warning, and he 'had been unable to find her. He was anxious that she and the children should go back to him. When he returned to Wellington ho found a lady friend of his wife's in the novice, and, as he objected to her, he ordered her out.
A) r . jfrazer said that, unfortunately, it. was not the first of a type of case which, he regretted to see coming before the Court. During her husband's absence at the front the wife had had plenty of money, and had got into 1 the habit of leading a somewhat gay life. He did not use the word " gay " with, any suggestion of immorality, but referred to the fact that the complainant had. as was admitted, leased her house and had been living at hotels for some time. She had been attending race meetings, and had generally been having a ?ood time. There was no suggestion of any kind against the husband, but the wife was evidently disinclined to settle down to normal home life again. If her husband had expressed some irritation at finding her away at Wanganui when he returned, it was only natural that he should do so. Further, it had _to be borne in mind that the complainant had utterly failed to, make any allowance for the nervous and temperamental condition of a man invalided liome from the front. She had had a good home and had nothing to complain about. ' Her husband was able and willing to maintain her and his two children, and the Coxirt would certainly refuse to make any order.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9589, 17 April 1919
SOLDIERS' WIVES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9589, 17 April 1919
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