LIFE ON TROOPSHIPS
NOVEL PAPER MONEY Further news of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force has been gathered from letters written by members of the force to friends in Auckland (says the 1 Herald'). One man states that letters addressed) to New Zealand are not subject to censorship, but orders have been given that information may not be communicated regarding the convoy guarding the squadron. Letters addressed to other countries than the Dominion by members of the force have to be submitted to the censors before they aro mailed. An announcement has been made that no mail matter will be delivered to the force until the destination of the voyage is reached. An unfortunate accident has been suffered by Lieutenant-colonel F. 0. Batchelor, of Dunedin, who is included in the Field Ambulance as X-ray expert. He fell down a stairway and received a bad shaking, in addition to which the fall caused the fracture of a rib. “ One of the most popular officers on tho ship is Colonel Batchelor,” ono of the troopers declares. “His kindly interest in everyone, no matter how trivial the complaint, has made the men swear by him." Ships’ newspapers have been established on several of the transports. One of them is edited by Surgeon-captain G. Howe, of New Plymouth, assisted by a committee comprising representatives of each regiment, and whoso duty it is to extract from anyone with a journalistic disposition anything that might be of interest to those on board. A selection is made from these contributions for publication. The paper is composed of three sheets of foolscap, neatly typewritten, and is sold at the sura of 2s for the whole voyage. The cost of material was about £8 16s, and any. profit is to be equally divided among the various regimental funds. Already £22 16a has been subscribed. A weekly paper is being published on one of tho other ships, under the title of 'The Tatler,’ the editorial control having been undertaken by Chaplainmajor W. Grant. The first issue was read in the main deck quarters, and created a very favorable impression. Daily bulletins of war news are received by wireless, and posted' on each Ship, of the fleet, but the men have “lost track" of the war, owing to tho lack of daily newspapers. A novel system of paying the men has been adopted, apparently to avoid the difficulty ot a small supply of coined money. An announcement has been made that during the voyage only Is per day will be paid, the other Is being allowed to accumulate to a lump sum, which will he paid on arrival at the destination of the force. The first pay was made the end of three weeks, and each man received a Treasury note for £l, payable in London by the New Zealand High Commissioner, and endorsed “negotiable” by the ship’s paymaster. The note itself is very simple, and bears the signatures of the Secretary for the New Zealand Treasury and of another official. The notes may be exchanged for canteen coupons, each of which is capable of ten 6d purchgaeg, and
as no change is given by the canteens, any odd pence are made up bjf boxes oi matches or similar articles. Any coupons not exhausted will bo redeemed three days before the end of the voyage. There is apparently coin in circulation on some of tno ships, as one trooper steles that on his transport the original note is cashed by the issue of 5s in silver, a canteen coupon, and another pay warrant for 10s. In a third instance tne pay was made in the form of 10s in silver and a warrant for the balance. Though the decision of the authorities to place the men on halfpay during the voyage was at first criti - cised, the men now appreciate the wisdom of the arrangement, since the canteen is the only channel of expenditure, and each man will be able to anticipate the value of his “savings” at the) end of the. voy 1 age. Gambling and cigarette-smoking are both strictly prohibited, and the Treasury notes have proved an unsuspected check against indulgence in the former. A record is kept of each note issued, and there was some trepidation among the original owners of five notes which wore ali presented by a member of the crew. On that ship there has been a sudden end o, gambling.
Permanent link to this item
LIFE ON TROOPSHIPS, Evening Star, Issue 15664, 1 December 1914