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WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES

EXPERIENCES FROM A PENINSULA TROOPER

FOUR DAYS EOUTB MARCH

. Since writing you last we have been away on a four days' route march. Wβ left camp r>n n Tuesday roornini?, and travelled north' wards all day through some very heavily cultivated country. After our desert camp, the oruuge groves, palm plantations, greun fields oamila, and native villages, were all very interesting Iβ us. On the Tamailin. oonal. which we crossed we saw lots of dhows or Arab boats. These boats have a eingle huge rnaet and Fail, and can carry a great quantity of prodnce. When there is to wind the natives tbemeeives pull tho boat along by walking on the banks with a rope attached to the bows of the boat. The first night we camped at a place named Nawa. This place is situated on the • airo-Suez railway. We picketed our horses in lines of squadrons, fed and groomed them, and then went away for a wash before tea. The day had been fright fully hot, and we were sll keen for a w>sb. >Moet of us stripped and got our mates to throw bucko;* of water over ua. Tea consisted of bread, butter, jam, beef (bully), and plenty of RO"d tea to drink. Th* firpt night, we had only a Btna'l number of men on horte picket and none on outpo?t duty, so we ail had a good night's sleep. Each man carries a horse blanket under bis eiddle, picke? rope, built-up rope, peg, nosebag, and water bucket (canvas) on his saddle, so the horses are well cared for and easily looked after. Grooming gear is carried in saddla wallet 3. Each marj takes his personal Rear, two blankets, and waterproof sheet, In lieu of two blankets a sleeping bag may be taken, providing its weighs not more than UJlbs. I have a good sleeping bag, and will alwnya carry it, as they are much more comfortable than blan kets. We were up tl 530 nest morning, and had horses fixed up, gear collected, breakfast over, and on the road again at 7 30. We had another day's march much the same as the first , only it seemed to be much hotter. We were allowed to take our tunics off, co we felt much cooler. We camped at a plaoe named BilbSis for the second night. Aβ we came through the village a pnrty of native school ctrldren with two English lady teachers greeted us with cheers, and I mutit say the greeting wae much appreciated by ua all. We speDt another night the same as the first one, and next morning we started on our re. turn journey, We reached Nawa again early in the afternoon, aud camped again for the night. This night we were a!l out on outpost duty, and some on signalling stations, so we did not get much sleep: Next |morning we were away from camp at G. 15, and well on the road home before too beat of the day. We had to fight our way back to camp from the Istnailia Canal. A patty of Australians were sent out to oppose us, but our superior numbers enabled us to make them retreat the whole time, and we managed to reach camp at 480 p.m. We were all a little tired and dirty after our little trek, but a shower b«th, a good tea, and a huge mail from New Z.al , and (the first for three weeks) soon brought us back to normal again.

TRENCH DIGGING &T NIGHT,

We have had lota of trench digging, mostly at nights. It seemed very hard et first, but now we would feel quite unwell il we did not get trenohing at least twice a week. The all night trench digging and outpost duty is not too nice. Howoter, we nearly always have the next day off, so can make up lost sleep. HORSES AND GENERAL Onr bones are all in great form now, and will be able to atand a lot of rough work Wβ havo all been issued with new regulation army saddles and bridles, and now that we have got used to tbein, we find them much more serviceable than old once. By tbe way, since arriving'nere our borsee have heen fed on barley straw |tibhii>), barley (crushed mostly), maize and bran, *nd haj every night at 830 Once a week green clover is given to them. Thf?| horee feed, I hear, v/hieb hns been sent frr.m Nt\v will he kept' for Ufe at the frnnt. Our foe' is Rill first rate. In feet, wiib the addition pf a table cloth and china cups plates, etCi (und a few of our people pitting aroiTri), we could easily inn gin? ourselves sitting at home in New Zealand. Sports have been held here olten lately the V.M.C.A people taking them in hand I think I told you about polo on dor keys -it is grmt tnn. Boxing is followed with great interest. We have some teally good men. with the New Zealnnders, Hegimy, of Timnru, • being the best. Hβ easily holda his own with the Australian a> d English boxers here. The reinforcenunts have all been drafted to the various reßiments, and most of them will fill vacancies, nnd go on to the front with us. We bava been expecting to go away for some now, and the latest is that we will be kaving here in lees than a week now, A change would be most welcome to us all now. We have seen nil there is to bo seen he-e, and are beginning to get tired of the place I hear there are a lot more Peninsula men on the why here, and as far as we cun heat now, every man of them will be wanted, AKABOA CITIZENS' CORP.

The Akaroa Citizens' Te'ence Corp seems to be doing great things. I can tell you Peninsula boys here are taking a great interest in you My word, you would you all

be interested here on the end of a shovel trenoh digging. More so, if we were allowed to look on The be t thing for you to do with ekirkers is to put them on pack drill. Pack drill fixes naughty buys here all right (once caught, twice sh.v) Tell Mr Armstrong to shave at once We hive to shave here once a day, and I know you w<int to play the game as we are doing on active service. UNTRUE RRPORTS. I have read Borne queer reports in your N.Z pnpers, and as far as I know they ara quite untruo. The reports i bout two New Zealanr'ers and an Australian petting their throat 3 cut is all bouh, and not-much credit to the person who originated them. It ia a wonder the papers are allowed to publish these rumours without first ascertaining their truth. Our chaps are rather indignant at seeing these things in print, nnd are won dering why persons are bo ready to believe things not quite creditable to their New Zea , land soldiers. CANTEEN SOLDIERS.

I see by the papers that the scandal in connection with the sale of New Zealand gifts to troops is being ventilated, and rightly so, too. No wonder we were short of a lot of' things on the boat, There certainly is something wrong, when we can go into Cairo or our canteens in camp, and buy articles which have been given to us by the New Zea. land people. Only last night a Peninsula boy bought cigarettes afe a canteen, and in the packet was a tickpt containing good wifhe/i from the New Zealand donor. An enquiry waa held here some time ago into the matter, and one person (an officer) was cent back to New Zealand. We, of course, did not get the full history, but a few facts have leaked out.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19150430.2.14

Bibliographic details

WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES, Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3454, 30 April 1915

Word Count
1,318

WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3454, 30 April 1915

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