THE WELLINGTON CONTINGENT.
AN INSPIRING SIGHT
(PRKSS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAM.)
WELLINGTON, September 24
Wellington's official farewell to the provincial section of the main Expeditionary Force and tho Artillery Brigade took placo this afternoon at Newtown Park. Large crowds watched the march of the troops to the Park, and when at about 2.30 p.m. the Governor addressed the men, there were between 35,000 and 40,000 people present-
The proceedings in tho streets and at the Park w.ere marked by much enthusiasm. The Territorials, Cadets, and Boy Scouts assisted in maintaining a clear road for the troops, who afforded an inspiring spectacle as they marched past, headed by their own band and with several city bands assisting at various points.
At 2.30 p.m., when his Excellency tho Governor arrived, the whole of the assembled troops came to the royal salute and the bands played tho National Anthem. His Excellency was accompanied by tho Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Mayor of Wellington. Others present included members of both Houses of the Legislature. THE GOVERNOR'S SPEECH. His Excellency then inspected the Force, after which he delivered a stirring speech. Tho Earl of Liverpool said: — Major-General Sir Alexander Godley, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of this Contingent—This great assembly which you see around you today has come to wish you "Gcd-spoed." It was not so very long ago when the eight of a troopship in a -Sew Zealand harbour denoted tho arrival of troops from tho Old Country. To-day the story is reversed. England is wanting all her sons to-day, and this young Dominion is sending Home to tho Mother Country her best. It has been a great pleasure—nay, I will say an honour —to inspect the men here to-day, and I do not think anybody will fear as to the future. You are indeed the very pick of tho manhood of this Dominion, and I know you will give a good account of yourselves whatever-ou are called upon to do- There is a tinge of sadness in my heart to-day, and it is because I alone of all the reserve of officers in this Dominion am unable to allow my name to be called in the roll of my old regiment. I can assure you all here, whether you be on parade or tiki be spectators, that I shall c?o my best to servo your interests to the best of my power as long as I am in tho Dominion. Gentlemen, no Government has ever faced w;ir with a light heart, but if ever a Government had a righteous oause —if ever an Empire had a righteous cause—it is the Empire we have the honour to belong to. It has been oft repeated since the war began that we would be soon signing peace; but peace will not be declared, until we have made a right end of this war. We have been forced into it by an unrighteous foe, desirous to rul© the world, and we have determined that as we have put our hands to the plough, we shall not look backwards. PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECH. The Prime Minister (the Right Hon. W. F. Massey) said:— This is not a time for words but for wise counsel, for calm deliberations, and a strong determination to do what vve believe to be right. Not for tho first time in "recent years has tho Empire- seen in to call upon the younger nations tor men who can ride and shoot. History tells us that in ancient days it was the custom to send round the fiery crass to assemble the Highland clans in battle. The Empire has sent out tho equivalent, the electric spark, to every corner of the world, and the response lias been magnificeiu and unprecedented. From every corner of tho world the sons ot the Dominions are rushing to assist the old mother. New Zealand is sending of its be«it, and in all probability within a very few months New Zealand will have 10,000 representatives at tho wenc of operations. I want to tell you as a citizen of New Zealand and as one who has seen the men in tho three centres during the last few weeks, that I am very proud of those who are going away, on account of their physique and soldierly bearing and their willingness to serve their country and Empire under any circumstances. This war has done away with many ideas that existed during the last few years. One was that the British Empire is decadent. Who will ea v that now? It has been demonstrated that tho Empire is stronger and greater than ever it has been during it* past history, and with the younger nations of the Empire growing in population and importance, the Empire is bound to become greater in years to come. What is the position? We see the different Dominions of the Empire, dependencies, and possessions of the Empire, all bound together to-day by ties perhaps as light as air, but stronger than steel—the ties of sentiment —and I am quite certain of this: that great as the Empire is to-day, it is nothing to what it will be when half a century from now is reached. I want to give you a fewwords of advice. In the case of many of you, your mothers are still left.
When you go to the other side of the world never do anything of which your mother would not approve. If you take that advice in the spirit in which it is given,' you will never havo reason to regret it. Just one other word, and it is this: Citizen soldiers, let mc advise you to stand fa*>t to the honour of the Empire, stand last for the glory of the flag, stand fast for tho credit of your Empire, stand fast for the traditions of the Imperial race to which yon belong. And now I can only hope that Providence, who has watched over and guided the destinies of tho Empire will watch over you, protect your footsteps, and. in H*.s own good time bring you back to your own land and to the friends you aro leaving behind. SIR JOSEPH WARD'S REMARKS. Sir Joseph Ward said: — 1 "want to say that I, too, am very pToud to havo the opportunity of being hero to-day to join in the multitude of people, not only here, but in .all parts of tho Dominion, in giving you a preliminary but an earnest farowell. It is only a litlo over seven weeks since this unparalleled war in the world's history began. During that time there havo been deeds done by the British that have added to the brightness of the pages of British history, and havo aaded to tho glory of the British Empire, a≤ we know it from the Tending of history. 'It. must bo a. sourco of immense gratification to T-he men "vrlio are going from this distant portion of the British Dominions to realise that they individually and collectively are going for all time to bo attached to that Jiistory which up to to-day wo are all to proud of. Talk about the suggestion of the d*cadenco of the British Empire! Read only ono or two of the incidents that have taken place during the last week or two, and any idea or that kind that may have existed in the minds of anyone ought to be dissipated for ever. \Yo read ot ten successive British soldiers going individually to their doom to blow un one bridge to prevent the enemy from gaining n superior position. The Last of tho ton who lit the fuse blew up the bridge and blew himself away too. We realise that the men here who will go forth to do battle for the Empire aro descendants of the great old stock which made tho British admired the world over for courage, and for generosity, and also for determination to win when fighting for a righteous cause. .May I say ono personal word of General Godley, who lias only been a short time with us. He has won tho confideneo of all classes in the community in the Dominion. He. has shown himself to bo a great soldier, a grea.fc organiser, a great diplomat, a man full of tact, and a. man of unpretentious actions. Wo in this portion of tho Empire are not only proud of him, but we recognise that tho men who are going away under him are equally proud of the fact that they servo under a soldier who has the respect and esteem and the goodwill of tno masses of a young and democratic country such as this is. in conclusion, I would say to you: We may be only fighting in defenoo of a bit of shattered bunting, but wo aro fighting in defence of what that means to tho humblest of the people in all tho British territory; it means tho suppression of that German imperialism which aimed at dominating tho civilised world. For that reason tho men going forward are willing to fight and clip in defence of tho honour of the iSmpiro, and there are men who aro ready to follow them. God-speed you, and protect you in whatever undertaking -on may be engaged, and that Hβ may bring you 'back safely to this country, is my earnest wish, and the wish of every section of the community. HON. JAMES ALLEN'S SPEECH. The Minister of defence (the Hon. James Allen) said:— Just ono" word. Our opportunity has come, the opportunity of Nev| Ziealanders to show what they think of belonging to the Empire, and to show wnat they can do in tiie interests ot tho'Empire.-I know that you will do you j* uiiiy. Ak>n, we nave given you of tho best of our officers. Officers, we have given you ol tiie oest ot our men. \Vt> trust them to your caro; we believe that you will lead them as good officers shouid lead them; that wnere daring is necessary you will bo daring. We believe that you will succeed; wo bieliove that you will help the Empire; we believe, and we wish, that you will come out with honour and glory: ana wo hope to see you all oack here well and sound—back to us with untarnished names and with hopour and glory— and that those who come after you will read with prido of the days you are about to enter into. Au revoir, a pleasant voyage to you all, hard work on the voyage, success in tlio field, and a happy return.
The Mayor of Wellington (Mr J. V. Luke) having given somo words of encouragement on behalf of the citizens of Now Zealand, the vasf assemblage sang the hymn, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past." Captain-Chaplain Chapman then read the 4<3th Psalm, MajorChaplain W. Shirer engaged in prayer, and the Bishop of Wellington pronounced a benediction.
The troops then marched past his Excellency in column, and afterwards marched through the streets, which were lined by thousands of citizens. The men were vigorously cheered as they passed by. Near the Government Buildings the parade was dismissed, and Wellington had said its official good-bye to the soldiers.
Permanent link to this item
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE., Press, Volume L, Issue 15082, 25 September 1914
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. Press, Volume L, Issue 15082, 25 September 1914
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