NEW ZEALANDERS IN BRITAIN.
Writing from London and Dundee, Trooper L. J. Smith, who left with the Maia Forces, and has been in England invalided since August, describes the excellent treatment given to oar soldiers in England and Scotland.
London, December 9,1916. „ Peel House.
"Am having a ripping time on farloagh. London is the place to see and do things, and I am doing both. I left Epsom on Monday and came straight into London, and was recommended to this place, and I find it tip top and a very reasonable tariff There are dozens of other New ssealanders and Australians here, and a lot of them I know. John Warwick came up from Epsom to day, and I met -him in Trafalgar Square. We had a few hoars at the Xmaa fat etook chow us Bmitbfieid, and we afterwards went throngb the great Smithfield markets. It was a!! very interesting to me. At the Show, people, farmers, etc., oame np talking to as, and were very interested about New Zealand farm life. They smiled when 1 fcold them our fat stook was mncb better than theirs. It is a foot, though The King was one of the biggest prize winners at the show. Some of our New Zealand lamb and mutton was on exhibition. I met
peveral New Zealand people at the chow.
lam tired of theatres now. Have been every night, and enjoyed them very touch. We saw "The Scarlet Pimpernel" last night. "Betty," a musical play, with Phyllis Dare and Godfrey Tearle as principals, i*3 easily tbe best I have seen. At tbe High Commissioner's office they have ten tickets from each theatre to give' away each day, so there is always more tbon enough to go round. Always tbe best seats in tbe bouse are kupt for 09 too. I was at the High CommisKioner'i? office on Tuepday and met young McK-nzu , there. I got to know him on the Tahiti coining over He hag lost both eyes, but seems to be quite happy about it. His sister was leading bim along. He knew my voice in a minute. We went np to bie fa'her'a room end bar) a good naif hour witb bim there. Mho is going into a pebool for the blind, and p&vb be has grear. hopes of being able to do annapfcbing u«eful. A Mrs Hay, coiipso of the Pigeon Bay Hayo, is in charge of a reading rostra for soldier? at tbe Commissioner's office. I met ber, and we bad poroe greet chats. Am to have tea with ber one of these days." Dundee, December 14,1915
"Am at present; seated ia a cosy little room with "twa Sootob lassies." When I left; Little Kiver Jim Swaddell asked me to call on his mother if I bad a cbance. I arrived here on Monday afternoon, and came straight out here to see them. They were awfully excited and pleaded to see me, They have not seen Jim for eight years. He is now at the front (Gal lipoli) with the Bixth Beinforcements. They bad a long letter from him this morning he said he expected I would be safe at home in New Zealand by this time. Two months ago he wrote and told his people that I had been killed, and I#er tha£ I had only been wounded and sent back to New Zealand. He said be would have a little to say to the first Turks be saw about it. I read his letters. The whole family are very fond of Jim, and they are never tired of my telling them of his doings in New Zealand. They are cousins of the Barclays in Little River. The Scotch girls are all pretty though. The fact struck me immediately I arrived in Edinburgh. I like the Scotch people very much. They are very homely, and more like colonials than anyone. I left Birmingham at 11,80 a.m on Saturday for Edinburgh, Had a lovely day and a good interesting journey, and arrived at 6.15, I put up at the hotel where my brother Ronald stayed, and met two other New Zealsndera, and went out to see "Kismet" played by Oscar Asche aod Lily Brayton. I saw it in New Zealand, but did not eojoy it any the less on that account. On Sunday we three New Zealanders went down to Leitta (the Port of Edinburgh), and visited H.M S New Zealand, which is stationed there juet now. My two friends had arranged it, so' we were met at the wharf by the launch, They gave us a good reception on board, and showed us over every part: The New Zealand showed signs of wear in places. So far she has been very lucky. She has been in two actions, and has never been hit or had a man killed. She fired 880 big shells in one action, and 100 in the other. She bad one marvellous escape from a tor pedo. It was coming straight for her, and would have bit her amidships only the commander steered her around at right angles, and the torpedo went along her sides, Another tirae a huge mine (almost invisible), was lying right ahead in the track, but the high rate of speed at which she was travelling washed the mine away. Everyone on board was quite en tbusiastic about her. Going into action the first time she steamed 30 knots, and kept up with the faster battleships. She steamed three knots faster than she was supposed to do. All seemed to be very proud of this fact. There are about 300 of the men on board who visited New Zealand with her, and nearly all were at the celebrations at Akaroa. One man brought his "glory box" out, and in it be had letters and postcards of Akaroa and a menu from the banquet. Most of the charming waitresses' names were written on the card, He gave me bis kindest regards for the ladies of Akaroa. The bull dog com mitted suicide by falling down a bold some time ago, The flag which was presented by the Timaru ladies was muoh torn by the wind in the first action, and has been sent back to Timaru. All the New Zealand pres ents and souvenirs are still on board, aud are cherished by all- She is just the same old New Zealand which we saw in Akaroa, only she has the marks of war. All the more honour and glory on that account. Of course, I saw her this time ready for action, and she did look a fighting bulldog too. On Saturday night in Edin* burgh a concert was given in aid of the sailors' fund, and a party of blue* jackets from the New Zealand gave a Maori haka. They were all painted up and had on the New Zealand Maori mats and feathers. They were well received, and were recalled three times. My two New Zealand friends met the party, and that is how we all' got the invitation to visit H.M.S New Zealand on Sunday. They gave us a very nice spread about 5.30, and then brought us ashore after a most enjoyable day. Will come up to Scotland again after Christmas if I can do bo It is out on its own, and not nearly sb cold as I expected, and the people are quite different from anyone else in England."
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NEW ZEALANDERS IN BRITAIN., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3520, 8 February 1916
NEW ZEALANDERS IN BRITAIN. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3520, 8 February 1916
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