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TERRITORIALS.

[By SKUtMWHEB.] • Items 'of interest concerning Corps (Town and Country), Shooting, and Territorial notes generally will be accepted. Copy, addressed to ,x Skirmisher," should be in hand not later than Monday morning. ■ No. 2 Company, Yield Engineers, have decided to hold th« r annual tamp of training during the early part of February. The vicinity of "Morton has been selected as the site.' Tho following officers of the reserve of officers have been called up for service •with their units, during the temporary absence of officers with the Expeditionary Force :--Major W. <S. Pennycoo.;. i2Ui (Otago) Mounted Eifles; Captmn A. V. Smith, S<t. 2 Company, Field Engineers: Lieut.-colonel A. E. Stewart, 14th (South Otago) Regiment; Lieutenant J. T. Wilson.* 7th, (Southland) Mounted Rifles; Captain J. A. Stewart, 14th (South Otiigo) Regiment; Lieutenant R. D. Vcitch, Divisional Signal Corps. The present week will see the finish of parades till after tho holidays. The war has not made any difference eo far as the training of our Territorials is conHvrned, and parades have been steadily uoing on. Company officers have had more to do. for beside the ordinary trainins: there is the clerical work to be attended to. Attendances have to be marked, returns forwarded to headquarters, and record books kept up to date. The work is cheerfully performed, and I think I cm safely say that since the war cominfuced attendances at parades have been better than previously. The men take « keener interest in their work, and it seems to be the aim of every man to become efficient. I hope after the holidays that men will bo given opportunity to put in some practice on the rifle range. An effort has been made to get the musketry course over before Christmas, and if this is accomplished intercompany competitions and prize shooting might be carried on. There are quite a number of trophies in Dunedin, such as company belts, cups, and other things, and I would like to see some of these competed for. _ In a circular issued by the executive of the Southland Rifle Association attention is drawn to the very attractive programme of events for their meeting on Boxing Day and the following Monday. In addition to the nine matches there will be a champion teams' match for •icrht men a side for the handsome trophy at the present time held by the Gore Defence Rifle Club, with the addition of £8 for the winning team. At a time such as the present, when our very existence as an Empire is fraught with danger, it is absolutely essential that every male capable of bearing arms should learn to shoot, and, furthermore, to improve his shooting. Lord Kitchener's order to the instructors of his new army is: " Te.vh the men to shoot," and each of us by learning to shoot well is helping the Empire in its hour of peril. Entries for the meeting close on Monday, December 21, and for the convenience of Duncilin competitors Rifleman L. C. Findlay, lion. secretary of the Otago Rifle Association, will take entries up to the date mentioned. The Gore Rifle Association's annual nrize meeting will be held on Xew Year's Day. The group meeting of the area will be held at Gore on Friday and Saturday next. Headquarters have received instructions to enroll men between the ages of 40 and 47 a» a relieving force for the Snmoan contingent. Men are required 'or infantry, mounted Rifles, machine gun sections. Army Service Corps, and the Median! Corps. The minimum height •> sft 4in, and it is expected that the relieving force will go into camp about tho middle, of next January for training. The examination of officers for promotion and non-commissioned officers as candidates for fresh appointment to commissions will bo held at Dunedin, Oamaru, Invercargill. and Milton on February 16, 1915. Candidates for Tresh appointments will attend an obligatory six-days' course of instruction at the examining centres frVftn- February 13 to February 18, including the days of examination. With the departure of the Expeditionary Force a large amount of equipment which ■was on charge to tho various units went with them. Technical units have been left, therefore, with very little chance of rarrying on the proper training of the men. Headquarters have decided that ihis equipment will bp replaced as spcedily is possible, and it is hoped to have it in time for the annual camp of training. The result of the General Election will make no difference to the Territorial system of training, and no matter which side is in power the Defence Act will remain the same. The chief matter of concern is whether the men detailed for defending our homes are receiving the best training. Three years ago. when the Territorial system wa* adopted, it was generally understood that the members of the force would require a deal of training before they could rank as efficient men. Rifle shooting was also to be encouraged, snd the men given every facility for attending the range and getting in* as much practice with the rifle as they could. A course of musketry was arranged, and a certain amount of ammunition was allowed each man, who was required to put on a certain score before ho was marked down as qualified. The idea was good, but unfortunately it took so long ""with the inadequate range accommodation available to get the men through the course that the season was overbefore any further practice could be indulged in. With a view of getting our citizens interested in the matter, "Bulls-eye," of the 'Weekly Press,* who has always been a strong supporter of rifle shooting, has I written a _ number of articles advocating I the necessity of municipal councils taking the matter up and forming citizens' clubs, thus making shooting a. national sport. At the present time, perhaps, some difficulty might be experienced in procuring rifles and ammunition, but this is onlv a matter of time, and very shortly there ;will be no reason why every man" in the Dominion should not take lip rifle shooting and make it a national sport, as advocated by " Bull's-eye.'' The Imperial Government have notified that they will provide passages to and from Europe for all ex-Imperial regular and ex-Imperial Territorial officers who will rejoin their old units. An allowance of £3O will be made for providing uniforms and £7 10s for camp kit. All officers "coming in under the offer must bo between the ages of 25 and 40, and certified medically fit for temporary commission during the present war. The last parade of the Divisional Signal Company before Christmas was held last night. There was a good muster of all ranks, and after the company had been inspected by the commanding officer squad »nd company drill were practised. The parades of thi3 corps will be resumed shortly after New Year, and tho annual camp will be held some time in February, the site and date being left for decision till some time later. Two very interesting riflo matches were fired bv the members of the Kiwi Defence Rifle Club last week, both of which resulted in losses to tho local club. The first match was against the Bruce Riflo Club, and resulted in the Bruce peop'.o coming out on top with a majority of 17 points. Rifleman Paul, a new member of the club, was top for the day vith 31, 32 —63, the highest scorer for Kiwi being Fogarty. with 59. • The second inatch was a hom«-and-home .natch against Invercargill at 200 and 600 yards. In this match tho Kiwis suffered defeat by 1 point. Rifleman Cowan, with t.ic splendid score of 66, being top. The reinforcements at present in camp at Trentham are putting in some s. lid work in preparation for their departure for the front. A* number of those at present in camp are receiving special ii> atinction to fit them to take positions as nou-eommiuioned officers, and in a letter received from one of thsir number the writer informs me that most of ;hc Otago hoy« have been recommended for sergeants, bo that this will be good news to relatives. In reference to the Christmas dinner provided by the citizens of Wellington, the wrietr says: "We all paraded with our mess articles, and sat down bv rows on the ground, tailor fashion. ,fro were jgivea lamb and mint sauce, roast

pork, cold ham, roast beef, green peas,' potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. The second course consisted of fruit salad, plum pudding, stewed fruits, lollies, and aerated -waters. Thero was plenty for all, and everyone went away thoroughly satisfied. All those who participated will have pleasant recollections of the generous treatment of Wellington people.' In t'o afternoon a. sports meeting was held on the racecourse, which attracted several thousand people from town. Several Otago boys pained honors by winning the finals in Various events.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141216.2.50

Bibliographic details

TERRITORIALS., Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

Word Count
1,480

TERRITORIALS. Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

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