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N.Z. Ex-Prisoners To Be Home Soon

HALF ON THE WAY Last May Leave Britain Before End Of August N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent.—Rec. 1 p.m. LONDON, July 16. It is now hoped that the last New Zealanders who were prisoners of war will leave Britain for the Dominion during August. Already 175 officers and 2952 other ranks have sailed for New Zealand, leaving 196 officers and 3140 other ranks in England. Only 32 men on the Continent are still unaccounted for. It was hoped that another 940 men would sail for New Zealand last week, but the ship had to be dry-docked, and will not leave now until toward the end of July. The majority of the men still in England are on leave. It has been noticed that most of them on leaving camp take out railway vouchers for Inverness, which is one of the furthermost points to which they can travel, and many do in fact visit Scotland. It has also been observed that they return from leave not only with more self-confidence but also content to settle down to uwait a ship.

For those former New Zealand prisoners of war who are still in camp in "Britain a parade is held each morning and on three days of each week there are route marches to keep the men fit, the distance being decided by the officer in charge.

Much interest is being taken in the Educational and Rehabilitation Service, and 548 men are studying in camp or in London in their spare hours. They are taking courses in subjects, such as agriculture, accountancy and trade engineering. Many men have also applied to study on detachment from the repatriation centre. They are divided into two categories, those on detachment for a period of less than two months, involving the rehabilitation department in no expense, and those on detachment for a period greater than two months, involving the payment of fees.

Up to June 30 278 applications were received, of which 33 were to study educational subjects, mostly connected with teachers, 163 for trade, technical and other professions, and 82 for facilities to study agriculture.

Men on detachment draw the army pay of their rank, plus 3/ daily sustenance allowance. They are not permitted to receive any other pay. Great assistance has been given by the British Council and various British Ministries in placing the men in a position where they can study the desired subjects.

The educational and rehabilitation service staff at Westgate worked long hours without leave in order to ensure that any man applying to study should get what he wanted and not be disappointed. Their difficulties included the fact that 52 men, after being placed, changed "their minds and decided they did not want to continue with the work, having found other interests. Much assistance was also given by the Prisoner of War Department of New Zealand House, which had the files of men who had been studying in the camps. These provided useful information in helping to place them in England. All reports indicate that there has been a tremendous all-round improvement since the New Zealanders returned from Europe. "They are, new men when they return from leave," was one comment made at Westgate.

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Bibliographic details

N.Z. Ex-Prisoners To Be Home Soon, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945

Word Count

N.Z. Ex-Prisoners To Be Home Soon Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945

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