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SOUTH CANTERBURY RECRUITS, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915
SOUTH CANTERBURY RECRUITS
[Special to the Star.] TIMARU, January 14. Recniiting is still being carried on satisfactorily in South Canterbury. On Tuesday a detachment of 40 men left for Trentham to join the fo'-ce, for Samoa, and eight were eent forward to join the reinforcements. Another 40 men will leave Timaru to-morrow to go to Trentham as reinforcements. Captain Nicholls has received information that 25 mounted and 75 infantry will bo the district's quota to the next detachment of reinforcements, and these, are expected to leave Timaru about the middle of February. For the mounted branch the captain has sufficient men already to (ill tho position. Up to the present the district has responded very well to the- calls for recruit*;, and it is confidently expected that there will be no difficulty* in supplying the number of men asked for.
A DUNEDLNITE'R LETTER. We have been permitted to make the following extracts from a private letter from a New Zealander:— " As yon sea I am with the Canadian Contingent, encamped on the Salisbury Plain, and have been here for about- five or six weeks now. T am now attached to the Royal Canadian Dragoons (cavalry, having left the engineers when it was decided that they were not lo_ go mounted. However, I have been offered a commission in the Imperial Army on tho strength of my New Zealand and Canadian experience with the assistance of some, good friends I have made, so that. I really do not know what I shall go to the front with yet, although I will let you know as soon as I make, any change (if any). It is difficult for you in New Zealand" to realise how near the fighting is to the home country. The boom of the guns can be heard at Dover, v.hile the crowds of Belgian refugees and wounded soldiers all over tho place show one how near everything is. I know an officer m the Scots Greys who left England for the front on Friday, and on the nest Wednesday he was back in London, wounded—pretty quick work this? I have had seven days' leave, and I went up to London with George Davidson, a Canadian barrister, who is in this regiment and another friend. We had _ a wonderful time. We stayed at the Piccadilly Hotel, which perhaps you know, and wo. spent six days in London and saw everything we, could in the time. London is practically in darkness although everything is going on as usual. All the street lights are. painted black on top so that no lights show upward. This is the precaution" against Zeppelin attacks. Everyone is in khaki. We had heaps of invitations of all kinds, one of my friends, whose father is a well-known baronet here, being well known in London. Everywhere that we went evening dress was discarded for khaki uniforms. London is crowded with Belgian refugees, who never pass a British soldier in uniform without saluting him, irrespective of his rank. The atrocities that the Germans have committed are quite true. There are men. women, and children whom I have seen iu the London hospitals with their hands cut off from the wrist by these brutes. At the Alexandra Palace,"which is being used as a home for Belgian young women, there are over 300 girls there who would he readilv taken as domestic servants by English ladies, but they are physically unfit, having been outraged by the German soldiers. Of course, thank Heaven, all the German soldiers are not the same. The commander of the Emden, for instance, is a popular man in England, n ore popular perhaps than he is in Germany. Before we returned to camp we stayed for two days at Stork House, Lowbourn, near Newbury, where the racecourse is, and where there is at present a. camp for German prisoners. Stork House is owned by a Mr Golding, whom Davidson knows, and he has a magnificent racing stable here. We hunted one morning and it was fine. Of course, you can well imagine that I am now an expert horseman, spending as I do at least six to eight hours a day in the saddle. I have a beautiful horse called " The Rat." which, by a coincidence, was used by General French during his stay in Canada. A strange meeting took place at Stork House: Also staying with tho Goldings was a lady who is" Lady Ranfurly's cousin, and was with tier in New Zealand all the time that Lord Ranfurly was governor there. She has written many letters to me since I have been back in camp, and 1 am going to see her wh.-u 1 go away again. I meant to go and see the Renfields, at Oxford, but I had not the time. I will, however, go in a few weeks when I leave camp again. I will write again next Sunday. Although it rains a great deal here and tho mud is terrible justnow, we are very comfortable. It does not matter if you send my letters to Canada, as I have a good friend there who calls at the post office regularly and forwards my mail. The card which I am sending was done by hand by the lady I have just told you of, and I am sorry that I am not at present able to send a better gift, but my dearest wish would be to bo with you all this Christmas: however, next year I hope to be at home for a holiday. Wishing you all the happiest Christmas and the brightest New Year, and with best- love—"
HOW BUSINESS MEN FEEL. We. have been permitted to make the following extracts rrom a leading business house in Bristol, tho head of which, writing to a Dunedm friend under date December 2, says: ' ; We have been going through, (stirring times since I last wrote you, and I fancy we have still more difficult times to go through yet. As .far as business and indun: y is concerned, it would be difficult indeed for tho proverbial visitor from Mars to realise that this country is going through the most serious wnrfa.ro in which it has ever been engaged. Demand is brisk in every direction in our part of the country, exceptionally brisk, the onlypart where trade is poor being Lancashire, where the cotton industry depend. of course, to largely on export trade ; but oven there it is not in any way serious, and is much the fame as occurs whenever there is a slump in export trade. With the large number of men who have gone from Home the most, serious difficulty that we nave in our works—and I think it is much the jiarnc elsewhere—is to get a sufficient .supply of labor. Immediately war was declaied all the reservist*; (that is, old soldiers who had returned to civil employment but were ptill on the reserve) and tho special ieservists (that is. a special class of soldier with very short training and long service, created within the last 10 yeans) were called up, and this made the first great gap in the industrial lift; of. the country. Many of these, men are serving at the front, and many are still in England. Then, of course, at tho same time the whole of the Territorial force was called up. This force has been very popular with the better grade of young man in tho country, and, in addition, since August considerable numbers have enrolled "in tho Territorial force. Tho Territorials are undertaking the Home defence, and. are gathered in important centres along the coast, and particularly in the neighborhood of London. Tho majority have volunteered to go abroad, and there seems to be tonic jealousy between them and the rew army as to who will go first. This new army, of course, is composed of the- million, or thereabouts who have Already enlisted for the period of the war. They are undergoing an intensive training, and the cieation of a new army of a million men in a country which provided for a Home defence army of between one and two hundred thousand, has beer, a very big undertaking, but it has been managed in a wonderfully smooth manner. The dislocation of ordinary life in this country, whether you consider price of commodities, currency, travelling, or any other of the ordinary parts of daily routine, ha? been eo ridiculously small that it is hardly believable. But in another direction the existence of this great struggle on the Continent and all over tho world is being brought home to thousands of homes of all clashes, for tho lessee have now exceeded any previous j war, and yon have nowhere to go for to peek for homes that have been made AorrovrliiL". J
SOUTH CANTERBURY RECRUITS, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915
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