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LIFE ON A TROOPSHIP

[By Lieut. R. J.] Since last writing our good ship has J crossed the sea. Long before wweille on Wednesday morning the report nact gone forth that land was in sight, so that further sleep was out of the question, and one was besieged with questions as to the various land marks. It is only fair to say that on nearing land all without exception had lost their sea sickness, and were intently watching things ashore. . Thursday at 7.45, before the sleepy inhabitants were astir, the battalion assembled on tho wharf previous to a two-hour route march} and punctually at eight, to the strains of 'lt's a Long Way to Tipperary,' the column moved off and encircled the town. The people treated us right royally, they having gone to a fair amount of trouble in arranging for the supply of lime juice, fruit, biscuits, and other eatables, which they unceremoniously gave to the lads as they hurried forward on their march. The town itself presented quite a holiday appearance, what with bunting flying, motor cars, bedecked horses and carts, groups of children, and tho populace lining the streets, while the shouts of crowds echoed through the town. It was indeed a time of festivity for all, the only complaint being that a week's holiday could have been well spent. Tho health of the men continues to I he splendid, likewise that of tho boTses. We left punctually at 11.30, and as the band played 'Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot,' tho people echoed ' Will He No' Come Back Again'; and so we parted after a brief sojourn from a town fragrant in memory for its benevolence. To-night we aro at soa again. The sea is choppy and tho wind strong, and as ono saunters along tho deck the chaff of the men conveys its humor. For instance, ono man is most anxiously inquiring as to the names of the authors of tho two wellknown songs, ' A Life on the Ocean Wavo' and ' Rocked in the Cra-dle of the Deep,' while the answer certainly is appropriate to the questioner as n dozen or more men snout that the authors had never been to sea t and methinks that there is some ground for the verdict. To-night, all being well, the first of a series of concerts will be held. A good programme has been arranged, and an impromptu stago i erected, from which will proceed wit and otherwise.

On October 26 the remains of Corporal Gilchrist were committed to the deep. The afternoon was an impressive ono. Tho whole of the fleet stopped for 15 minutes, with flags at half-mast. The Bth Southland Regiment provided the firing; party, while the ships' bands played the JDead March in ' Saul.' Tho funeral ceremony was conducted by Chaplain Captain" Ross, while all hands stood at attention, after which ( Lead Kindly Light' was played by the battalion band. It should be mentioned that Corporal Gilchrist, who oamo from Gore, was dispenser to tho hospital, and was noted for Mb obliging disposition and sterling integrity. His death was indeed a shock to everyone on board, and we on the troopship sympathise with his relatives in fax off New Zealand; although at tho same time it is felt that ho had sacrificed his life for his country, and has died with honor as a soldier. Corporal Gilchrist, although suffering intense pain, yet never complained, but quietly laid down his arms, and has gone to his reward. What better tribute can any soldier have than thisP

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141121.2.100

Bibliographic details

LIFE ON A TROOPSHIP, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

Word Count
591

LIFE ON A TROOPSHIP Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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