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SIR A. RUSSELL ON BOARD.

(Per Preßs Association.) CHRISTCHURCH, May 15. The much heralded Arawa, conveying the general officer commanding the New Zealand Division and a big draft of Dominion soldiers, dropped anchor in Camp Bay, Lyttelton, at five o'clock last evening and swung" round to the tide to await the healthy officers. Major-General Sir Andrew Russell, who succeeded Sir Alexander Godley in the command of the brilliant New Zealand Division, is a typical citizen soldier, beloved of his men for his readiness to stand in with them in good'and bad fortune, yet eager to be home again in ' piisuit of the arts of peace. The s.s. Arawa was due in'Lyttelton last Monday. Her late arrival was due to heavy winds and seas, and when she should have been entering the. ■•wireless range of New Zealand stations she was only within call of the lonely Chatham Islands, the first British link of Empire that the sun rises j on. When the ship' at last loomed up | after her long westing from Panama the pilot was the first man out, and the health officers and military soon put. .oif in their, launch, to return in a couple of hours with the welcome news "clean ship." A PLEASANT TRIP.

- The Arawa left Tilbury Docks, London, on April 1, and splendid weather was experienced all the way out until about ten dayß before arriving at Lyttelton, when moderately rough conditions were encountered;- Colon (Panama Canal) was reached on April 17, and the troops went ashore at eight o'clock that morning and were allowed to spend a whole day. in-that very interesting town. The vessel left Colon next morning, and when she was coming through the--canal the American citizens at different locks showered the troops with flowers, cigarettes and magazines. At Balboa, on the Pacific Coast, tMe American Red, Cross Society sent aboard a large quantity of fruit, etc., as well as a little souvenir booklet for everyone on board, giving facts about the canal, which had been speedily compiled for the information of the men of Australia, New Zealand and Canada wHo went through the canal on their way home from the battlefields of . Europe.VY From Balboa to New/ Zealand the .'trip was uneventMajor D. G. Johnston, N.Z.F.A., was officer commanding the troops on board, and he, spoke very well of the behaviour of everybody. He said that they had had a very pleasant trip, and were glad to be back home-again. Educational classes,had been held, but although these were purely voluntary, ihey were not much of a success, except in the caße of book-keeping, which had been a big cEss all. the way xrnt. The health of aft on board had been excellent, and j^he hospital had been practically empty throughout the voyage. The men were put through the inhalation chamber three days in succession after leaving England, and also for three days before and after leaving Colon, and just before arriving, at-Lyttelton. . The Y.M.C:A. had provided a kmema for the voyage out, and a different programme was screened every 'night until Colon was reached, when a cable message 'was. received .from the: underwriters- in London forbidding any further" use of the kinema. A good number of very successful concerts were held, and a number of debates were also arranged, Sir Andrew Russell joining in these with some very interesting addresses. The voyage was enlivened with concerts by the New Zealand Engineers' Band, which .consisted mostly of North Islanders, with a couple of Canterbury men. The band was under the control of C. S. M. Parnell, and consisted of twenty-five players:

THE SOLDIERS' WIVES. Ninety soldiers' wives, with 32 children, came out by the Arawa, and the opinion was expressed by several or the officers that the majority could be regarded, as a fine stamp of Jinglisn womanhood. , Some of the wives seemed rather dubious as to the kind of reception 'awaiting them, *and one,.lady asked ir it was true that they were to be given ,a "rough spin." They all spoke well or* the. treatment on, the voyage out, which they had thoroughly enjoyed. I Asked if they had yet formed any impression of New Zealand, several ot the wives stated that they felt ithey would soon be able to settle down ■in their new surroundings. Tnei bare hills.around Lyttelton.Harbour did not seem to impress them, very favourably tyith the beauty and resources ot JNew [Zealand.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190515.2.24.1

Bibliographic details

SIR A. RUSSELL ON BOARD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9610, 15 May 1919

Word Count
735

SIR A. RUSSELL ON BOARD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9610, 15 May 1919

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