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NEW ZEALANDERS IN CAMP.

KEENNESS AND IMPROVEMENT IN TRAINING.

FROM A MEMBER OF THE FORGES.

A Peninsula member of the main New Zealand Expeditionary Force gives the following interesting account of camp life at Zeituo, and of the splendid training our troops have undergone to prepare them to meet the arduous campaign they will have to experience wbep they reach the front :— Holiopolis Camp, Saturday, January 9b, 1915. P. 30 p.m. now, and I have been writing since 6.30. Most of our boys are oat en leavo to night, but I had o c o£ my iired moments 80 did not go out. This morning we had two hours of solid training at bayonet drill, and to wind up with we had a oayonet oharge. The Brigadier told us we were perfect at that kind of thing. Person • illy, I was quite blown at the cad of the jharge, and I think most of the other men were the same " I don't know how many Germans we are surp>?ed to stick after.a run like th»t, but I felt like lying down. I mppoße it would be interesting to have a few Serroans to run through any time, eppecially f we had time to do as suggested, viz, give ;he bayonet a twiet before withdrawing it. SVe have practised extensively, wiping blo~d 3te , off bajenets with our fingers. What do pou think of that now ? Eh ! By the way, )ur bayonets were all given a grind up yes;erday. They are in good order now ; also ye reoeived the {ol owing order:—"From 30\v on all buttons, buokles, and brass nountings are NOT to be polished." As you vill easily imagine this order will be obsyed o the letter. As cleaning buttons was alvays a source of great inconvenience to us, bis order will greatly add to our present itate of happiness. Am wondering what I rill do now that no cleaning up is to be lone. I won't know what to do with my pare time. I won't be np on the mat for laving dirty buttons, and therefore won't be )ut on extra fatigue. Can you suggeit how c fill in time which we used to cut out by atigues. I must say the time was a com iderable amount. On Monday last the 3 Y.C. squadron went out on a two days' i ikirmish. Cooks, ambulances, transport, nd ammunition waggons us, The first day we did extensive field manlouvres, and at night time wo camped near a veil in the deae t. After geltiDg o»r horses, ed, etc, we sot to work, and eaoh mac looked bis own tea. Parties of men were old off for outpost duty, and the rest turned n with the sand for a bed and one blanket tnd oil sheet to keep out the cold. Every ■ >no spent a good night, and were all "keen »nd fit next morning. We were up at 5 >'clook, had breakfast at 0 30, and wero on rfck again at 7,30. Each section was mnded steak ana bread, with a tin of jam. This was divided up, and had to last the day Tea was made in the usual dickeys, a mug full or breakfast, and a water bottle full to last wenty four hours. Our section bad a rip>ing breakfast. One man fried the steak, ,nd by way of a luxury he fried bread for is, and by jove it was fine. Another man ;ot tea, while another looked after the horses The fourth"'man was boss, Rnd did nothing iut eat steak and fried bread when it was ooked. I modestly confess to being the ines for the occasion, and 1 must Fay overyhing went well, especially that fried bread, f active service is going*to be like our two ays' treck it is going to be a picnic for us. Lfter spending the day at rifle practice, sigr tailing and despatch riding we came back to amp again, very dusty and dirty, but a good hower soon put us right again. Sunday morning, January 10, 1915. Just finished church parade. Eon. Thomas lackenzie and General Oodley were present, nd made an inspection of our horse lines ,od pear afterwards. Yesterday morning we iad bayonet charge practice, and were adirosßod by Hon. Thomas. McKenzie, New 'ealand High Commtssif ner. TKOOPB WANT ACTIVE SERVICE. Heliopolis Camp, January 17, 1915. It ia now some days since I wrote to you, iut Ibere still seems nothing t* write about. ! suppose really the truth ia that we are ired of the life here, and are wanting to be iff on the war path. We quite expect to be ient against the Turks any day, but that ie< ms to be knooked on the head now. The Russians seem to be doing all that is necesary there. Personal!*, I think a fight with ihe Turks, and then to be cent on to Europe wtuld b< ja3tthe thing for v*. Our chaps ire getting very keen now. Loafing around acre seems to be poor work to ua. We put in solid training now, just the same as on iciive eervice. Cook your own food, sleep out, etc , and we find it not y* bad at all in this oountry. Everything is in full swing now. Signallers, engineers, ambulances and transports all doing their work. Everything is carefully thought out, even to the smallest detail. Our officers should be quite efficient at the , end of another three weeks, Tbel rnea with brains are showing out here I oan tell you. X am quite sure that some of bur younger oQiaets will make a big bit when the right time comes along, Everyone will do well of course, as we are getting such splendid training, but there are ready one or two who are alwajs out on their own. THROUGH THE CAIRO ZOO. I had a great day at the Cairo Zoo with a friend on Sunday last. We spent over five hours there, and were sorry when we bad to leave. We saw everything that could be seen in the bird, animal, insect and fish line (here. Wβ saw come very fine specimens of lions, tigers and giraffes. The Zoo grounds lire over 50 acres in ex'ent, and are wonderfully laid out. The many walks are paved with coloured pebbles, worked in nil kinds of quaint designs. They alone are worth going a long way to see. There are any amount of native attendants to show you around. We had a good lunch and afternoon tea on the grounds. The lunoheon place is really a lovely garden, all laid out in nuall sections and overlooking a small lake. Trrpical trees and shrubs are everywhere. A good band was playing the whole afternoon. As I said before, we were sorry when we had to leßve this grand interesting place. We came back to Cairo, and had tea at the Soldiers' Club. After tea we went into the gardens, and listened to the newly arrived band from Lcodon, It was a regimental band, and a great crowd of people bad gathered to hear tt c performance. A good number of Aua tnlifiii oDti New Zealand soldiers were pre> si nt, unci they all bad o great time meeting English nnd French people. We came back to our camp by train by 9 30 tir?d, but satis-

tied with or day's outing. Our regimem (C.V.C.), Bth South Canterbury and lOtb Nalton M.K. have got orders to blacken all buttons. We tried to let them get blaofc themselves", but they turned all* colours, bo we have made them all one colour by burnting them in the fire. By the way I hear our regiment is the most effective here, so Altogether it looks like business, doesn't it? Nothing else much doing here. Lights out at 10 15 and reveille at 5.31), and hard work all day is the nana!. We certainly are get* ting well fed, and our horses are doing splendidly. The old Christ's Collpge boya bad a big re-n»ion dinner in Belinpolis laet night. By the wa? we bay« all been vacci Dated, and the words most beard cow are, "Mind my arm," and '"If >cv touch my arm, I'll break your neok." Mr arms did not take, so I don't make use of theae words. I might say I get a little of my own back on to the boys who used to Ret at me about being seasick on the boat. We heard yesterday that the New Zealand, reinforcements had arrived at Alexandria, but we have not heard of their arrival here yet. Wβ urn all keenly awaiting their arrival. With the exception of having sore arms, all of the Peninsula men are well," (To be continued)

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19150226.2.13

Bibliographic details

NEW ZEALANDERS IN CAMP., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3401, 26 February 1915

Word Count
1,461

NEW ZEALANDERS IN CAMP. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3401, 26 February 1915

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