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CALL TO THE RANKS, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2470, 25 May 1915
CALL TO THE RANKS
A LOCAL RECORD NINETY MORE CITY MEN REGISTER BANTAMS' POSITION CHANCE COMING WITH LOWER STANDARD.. oca ' record in l recruiting was established yesterday, when 90 men enrolled, at the Buckle Street office, lflis brings the total jiuir.ber "who have registered' iii Wellington up to 3730 since the outbreak of war. Among yesterday's enrolments were a small number of the men who returned from bamoa some little time ago. ' Th® Wellington quota for tho Hospital Ship is complete, and will be sent into camp to-day. It consists of nine privates, a cook, and a dispenser. ine Defence authorities nave prepared a certificate which will ho handed to men who have enrolled, but have been prevented from getting away through their inability to pass the doc- !" -l cert '2cates are not printed yet, but thoy should bo available any time now. They certify to the fact that the owner has endeavoured to enlist for aotive service, but has been rejected 1 on account of some defect—a defect, by the way, generally very slight and one which would never be considered as such in any but a military test. P res ent tho supply of infantry in At ellmgton is keeping up excellently, but such is not the case everywhere; 111 the south there are shortages. At the same time there are persistent demands by men of short stature for tho formation of a. bantam contingent. One inan, for instance, complains that his 15 years' military experience availed him nothing in hh effort to got away, because he was 34J inches round tho chest, instead of 85 inches. The fact is that the bigger men havo some advantages—for instance, their greater height and reach gives them advantage over shorter men in bayonet-' fighting—so, while the military authorities can secure as many men as they need at the preseut standard they will take them in preference to the equally hardy, hut somewhat smaller men. It seems a little hard on a gcod man to he rejected for the sake of half an inch, it is. pointed out, but there must be definite lines, of measurement drawn, and those limitations must be observed by the examiners. It has always been the practice in the British Army to begin with the men of bigger measurements, and reduce those measurements ■when the supply slackened; and when that supply shortens to nduce the age limit. That practice wil l be followed here. In a little while now these impatient •'bantams" (as they call themselves), who are itching to lend a hand on Gallipoli, will get their chance. They will not be in time to catch the New Force or the Seventh Reinforcements, and it is very unlikely that they will be called for for the Eighth Reinforcements; but they will be given their opportunity well before the end of the year. The question has been raised as to whether only men who have passed the St. John Ambulance examination are sent with the hospitals and hospital ships. That is not tho case; the best men are chosen irrespective of whether they are "St. John" men or not. Very strict instructions havs teen issued by the Defence authorities to the doctors who examine the hospital aspirants that great care must be exercied in the selection, and that- only men thoroughly suited for the work may be accepted. The suggestion has been made also that married men should bo. given preference when staffs are being chosen for hospitals, but the Defence authorities do not agreo with the suggestion. STATEMENT BY HON. J. ALLEN MORE MEN NEEDED DUTY OF MARRIED MEN For the first time since the beginning of the war, Ministers have felt it incumbent upon them to say now that recruiting is pot quite ratisfactory. In an open-air address on Sunday afternoon the Prime Minister made a strong appeal to young men to enlist, and yesterday the Hon. J. Allen, Minister of Defence, made another appeal in a statement made to a reporter. "Recruiting for the infantry is not satisfactory," he said. "Recruiting for all other branches of the force — mounted infantry, artillery, and engineers—is quite satisfactory, hut for the two extra battalions of infantry and for the Seventh Reinforcements is not nearly so satisfactory. The one district that has excelled itself is Wellington, which has provided more than its quota for these new battalions and the Seventh Reinforcements bv something like 400 men. Auckland, on May 15 last, was short of its quota by from 400 to 450 men, and I have 'heard nothing of the Auckland enrolments since that date. It is possible the deficiency jas been made up. ' If not, then 1 hope Auckland will set to work to do its duty. Canterbury was short, on May 15, by from 450 to 500. Otago, on the same date, was 650 men short, but since May 15 they have raised some 210 men. They are therefore still short, and if Otago and these other districts cannot make up their quota, the men will havo to be 'provided by Wellington or some other places having an excess. I am sure all the districts realise that tho country and the Empire are relying upon them, and I hope those who are interested in recruiting will see that all thos© who ought to enlist do so, especially all unmarried men. What do you say is the duty of a married man? Mr. Allen was asked. He replied: "As to the duty of a married man it must be for himself to decide. If he possibly can go I think the urgency is so great now that even a married mnn must ronke sacrifices for the defence of the Empire, which means he should remember the defence of his nwn homo, his wife, and children. In the case of a married man somo provision is made for his widow in the event of his death, and as I have promised, I am going to ask Parliament to improve that for non-commissioned officers and privates. If possible wo don't want to alter the regulations with regard to age and height, but wo do want these extra men. Tho two new battalions aro coming to Trentham about Hay 30, and tho Seventh Reinforcements on June 12. We want the men before these elates. "There is a most extraordinary discrepancy," Mr. Allen continued, "in the numbers rejected as medically unfit in the different centres. I havo examined <he returns supplied to me, and I am so astonished at the differences that 1 am having, inquiries made as to the reason. The percentago of rejections varies from 5 per cent, in Wellington to 25 per cent, in Otago." YESTERDAY'S ENLISTMENTS The men who enlisted yesterday aro: Thos. A. Parncil, mechanic, City. l'urncss, clerk, City. William Cunningham, driver, Lower HuttHarry H. Thomas, mason and contractor, Petone. Wm. Ernest Bail ex, driver Citv. Archibald M'Pherson. cook.' Pet one. i Wm. J. Kerr, carpenter, City. J
Kay Errol Shaw, Civil Servant, City. Arthur G. B. Taylor, Civil Servant, City.
Francis E. Tier, labourer, City. Wni. Geo. Ryan, hushman, City. Stanley Clifford Baker, clerk, City. Jack Don, clerk, City. Alfred P. Drydon, tailor, City, Edward M. Wildman, seaman, Tliorn>lon. John L. Keogh, wool-classer, City. William Cameron, labourer, City. John M'Grath, scutcher, Koputuroa. Edward Knight, fireman. City. Wm. David M'Williams, cngineilriver, City. Thos. G. Wilkes, insurance clork„ Oitv. Thos. Barclay, storeman, City. John Ernest Lynn, bootmaker, Rosoueatli. Geo. Fitzgerald, clerk, City. Wm. R. Olnnsen, postal clerk, City. L. W. Northover, wool-elasser, Petone. Malcolm M'Callum, insurance clerk, Petone. ' Albert Elvines, tailor, Petone. Fredk. Thomas Teague, laundrymaker, Newtown. James Wallace, ship's steward, Kilbirnie. Michael Harrison, painter, Waiparo Bay. Chas. Gordon Noble, laundryman, City. Richard Knowles, surfaceman, Ngaio. Robert Wainwright, plumber, Kaiwarra. Alexander Stewart, farmer, Cambridge. Joseph Rawiri, farmer, City. A. T. K. Anderson, butcher, Newtown. Geo. N. Saywell, City. Harry W. Swinburne, clerk, City. Ivor Davey, clerk, City. Albert Barnett, seaman, Brooklyn. Lionel Arthur Atkinson, traveller, City. Eric James Fuller, commercial traveller, Seatoun. Claude J. H. Davidson, postal clerk, City. Thomas O'Shea. law clerk. City.' Fredk. R. Alexander, warehouseman, Seatoun. Gerald Rolfe Green, warehouseman, Seatoun. Wm. J. Smith, coach-painter, City. Cyril Murphy, butcher, Mataroa. Ernest S. Gyton, fitter, City. Alfred Edward Jackson, cook, City. Walter A. Holmes, Civil Servant, City. Bernard C. Fowler, bank clerk, City. Charles Reddie, farmer, City. Frank Cattell, commercial traveller, ! City. Eric Rollo Wright, warehouseman, Oitv. Chas. Edward Strickland, storeman, City. Arthur .Jordon. cabinetmaker, City. Colin H. Kempton, baker, City. Bernard Osborne, surveyor's assistant, Seatoun. Stanley F. Tomple, clerk, City. Gilbert E. Cartwight, bank" clerk, City. Geo. Robert Bruco, shepherd, Ormondville. Ira Wm. Holdsworth, ex-soldier, City. Cyril Howard, storeman, Citv Arthur Nelson Field,, journalist. Citv. Fredk. King Broadgate, geologist, Louis Walter England, mechanic, Karon. Geo. F. Kelbv, grocer, City. Stanley B. Thomson, warehouseman, David Coutts, carrier, Citv. . Augustus Alfred Hansford, electrician, Ngaio. Alox. Allen Foster, railway fireman City. John Lnrsen, clerk. City. Wm. .Redwood Johnson, railway clerk, .Thorndon. Leslie Trotter, labourer, City. Chas. Sidney Smith, clerk, City Herbert, M. Inkster, clerk, City. Percy Geo. Jacob, plumber, Hataitai. James Francis Byrne, boilermaker Citv. 5' ?°PP cr < shoemaker, Petone. V", kelson, fireman, City. John Denbon, .fireman. City. F. W. M'Cornish, printer, City. REJECTED AS USELESS RECRUITING, AND RED TAPE. (To the Editor.) Sir,—As a would-be recruit who has twice been informed that he is useless tor any form cf military service, I should like to direct attention to the folly of the Defence Department's castiron requirements. On the first occasion on which I was medically examwas through every portion ot the examination except the test for colour-blindness, .which had not been readied when my rejection tool: place, but in wnich I believe I am in no way defective. I was found to be physically • J respects except tliat my eyesight, when unaided by spectacles, was below the required standard. On this ground I was rejected as unfit for any branch of the service. At my seconil examination to-day 1 was given the eyesight test, and having failed in this was at once written down as "medically unfit, without further ado. It was impossible for the doctors under tho legulations to give any consideration to rhe fact that with glasses my vision is practically normal, and in the ordinary course of an active life, has been no whatever to me. I can shoot with quite as much accuracy as plenty of my friends who have been put through without question for the Expeditionary Force; and as for seeing at night, I have driven a motor in the i^ r r>- ® u " er Gorges, across the Kimutakas, and over most of the roads m the North Island, without difficulty. And yet because I need to wear spectacles to do this I am written off as incapable. The man with false teeth, who cannot masticate his food without artificial aid, is accepted ss a matter of course. It is just as easy for him to lose hi 6 teeth as it is for me to lose mv spectacles, and once he had lost them he would be quite as ineffective as I should be without glasses. The toothless man cannot conveniently carry with hiin spare sets, of false teeth for emergencies, but it is the easiest thing in the world to carry a couple of extra pairs of spectacles in one's pockets. The Defence Regulations do not take account of these plain avv.l obvious facts. I submit, sir, that it is a glaring absurdity to reject as absolutely unfit for any form of military service an ablebodied and healthy man like myself. If the military . authorities continue the rejection of single men for such trivial reasons and invito married men with wives and. families depending on them to enliat in their plncos they will be committing an act of criminal follv.— I am, etc., ... ~. A. N. FIELD. Wellington, May 34, 191-5. THE CASE OF THE "BANTAMS." ' ki r J —Reading the newspapers of tfie reports of tho recruiting meetings, one would think that New Zealand was short or men offering for the front. I think it is absurd the way recruits are selected. If one happens to be, say, 3-14 in. cnest measurement, with years of military experience, one is turned down in avour of a, man who may measure 3oin. out lias had absolutely 110 experience. Uie position seems ridiculous, and tho sooner the Defence authorities remedy this state of affairs the better it will ho roi the country. I have had 15 years' muitaiy experience, and now when tho time arrives when one can do a servico tor Ills country ho is "turned down," although in perfect health. If the Government floes not intend to do something for tho 1 bantams," it would be just as well foi US iu future to shirk all military duties. —I am, etc., t „ DISGUSTED. Wellington, May 19. 1910. fin this issue, under the heading, "Call to tho Hanks," thft subject the correspondent writes on is dealt with J
CALL TO THE RANKS, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2470, 25 May 1915
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