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With the New Zealanders in Egypt.

W. J. Hardham* V.C. §Y the last mail I received a very interesting letter from W. J. Bardham, Y.C,' the well-known Petone Club and Wellington representative Rugby player. "Billy" Hardham ifilled a big place in the athletic world Of the Empire City, and. as a member of the Management Committee of the Wellington Rugby Union and of other bodies was respected and esteemed both for the. soundness of his judgment and for the enthusiasm he displayed m whatever he put his hand to. He was one or Hew Zealand's soldiers in the South African war, and came back to the Pominion from those fields of battle with the coveted "V.C." for valour. When W. J Hardham offered, fop service with the Expeditionary :Force he was ap-pointed-/-Ga-ptain of : the,,Manawatu and Taranak* -division of -. the- -Wellington Mounted Rifles. A good fellow, a fine soldier, Hardham- is bound' to do honour to New Zealand on the' battlefields of Europe. _~ ■ ■■ •»'- # * ' * The Sporting Side. Of course, his letter to me deals mainly with the sporting side of the miMary life of the Expeditionary Force. With-., out any- further preamble, let me quote from Hardham's letter :■*— "Just a few lines to let you know that things are going. oh. well. Of course, I cannot tell you anything about military matters, but I know you will be interested iii the sporting side. - We have a great crowd of sports—officers and men —and, gs we have not got to the front yet through, no fault of our own, we are doing the next best things-getting and keeping fit for the time when we A Rttgby Football Wanted. "I tried hard for a long time to sefcure a Bugby football, but eould not get one in Egypt. Some of the other regiments* however, had brought a few with them, and I managed ■ to borrow . one, We fixed up a ground—of course, on the sand, as the only grass to be seen here is, in cultivation. Our regiment—the Wellington Mounted. Rifles—have played several games, and so far we have been undefeated. We have played the First Australian Light Horse,, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and are looking for anybody else with a Rugby team eager for a match. Some Well-Known Nantes "Our team is captained by H. Dewar (sergeant machine gun section), D. S. Maefariane, G. Miller (late secretary Petone F,C), two brothers Wilder from the Wairarapa. two brothers Baddley (Wanganui. College Old Boys). Thompson (Manawatu)—in fact, players from all parts of the Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, and Wellington provincial districts. The officers of our regiment also played the Canterbury officers, and defeated them by three points to nil, after a very exciting if not brilliant exhibition of foothall, enthusiastically barracked by the men of both regiments. "To give you some idea of the sports we have amongst the officers of our regiment, let me mention some of the names:—Captain Br. H. J. McLean, Wellington; Major J. Elmslie; Wanganui and Taranaki representative; Captain Harry Palmer, who played after having retired from the game for twenty years; Lieut, James, Taranaki repre- ' seiitative ; Captain Wilkie, Ohakune; Lieut. Logan, Wairarapa and Lower Hjitt half-back; Lieuts, Cameron, Maurisell, and Wilder, all Wairarapa repreWhen I tell you that out of thirty officers in the regiment twen-ty-four were - ready and willing to play, o'nlv ctuty, stopped them, it will give you some idea of the keenness there is to get and keep fit. as well as the sporting spirit there is • in all ranks. Tite Boxing Side, "We have also erected a boxing ring, and I tell you that even President R> W. McVilly would be proud to stand and preside at the ring-side, as it- is beautiMiy lit-and'erected. We have just finished a tournament of the regiment at all '■"' weights, and it took four Inights-^ten. bouts, each night—with softie exhibition, bouts included. At the finals 'there must have been fully 2000 : spectatots .round the ring. Of course ■■■■''ijb : open, and with the beautiful leather we have in this country, it is

indeed a very fine sight. The refereeing was in the capable hands of Allan Maxwell (Canterbury Regiment), and nothing could have been better. .;■■'." '%.£■'*s

"The weather here is more suitable to cricket, but, as we are on the desert, there is not much chance of a game with the bat and ball, but we are going to try and fix a pitch, and I promise.yoa it will' not be any fault of ours if we do not manage it, Of General Interest. "We all take a very keen interest in everything that happens in New Zealand, and as I receive every week's Free Lance I am kept pretty well informed of the doings of Wellington sports, and I get plenty of inquiries at every mail for my copies of the paper. "" > s, '"The general health of all ranks is very good, and, except for some cases of measles and influenza in a very bad form, serious illness is very rare. "The infantry are not now in our camp, as they moved a few weeks ago tp another part of Egypt, but I expect T. M. Grace and Company are doing their best to keep up the sporting side: as well as the other where they are. ;: ■■■■;'■ 'f!§ "By the time you receive this, ball will be in the air in good old Wellington. We can hardly hope to be in it this -ear, but our good wishes are with you all, and we hope to play our; game for New Zealand this side of'the world, and help Old England and the World at ! a bigger and harder game than football. More About Rugby. - "Of coarse you know as well as I do that' sports of all kinds are well represented in our forces, and to see the different coloured jerseys that turn out On our ground I think every football club in New Zealand must have its representative here. I must tell you that I am in the best of health and very .fit, as I said before, so are most of the*

others. We are kept pretty busy drilling and training, still we have chances of sight-seeing. I am sure none of us will ever forget our visit to Egypt. We have perhaps not quite a senior team in our regiment, but it is a really good one, and the football is good, even if sometimes the ball is lost owing to the dust raised in a scramble. I suppose it is hardly necessary to mention that I played in the officers' match, as I do not ireel quite such a veteran, placing in this class as perhaps I would trying to play for Petone.

p) "Mails are very regular, and only occasionally we miss a weekly one. • We have also held a sports • meeting, and concerts are held regularly, good talent being shown in everything. Of course, shower baths are erected, and we can even get hot water right in the camp at a verv small charge. The men have large mess rooms erected, and things are very comfortable. The water supply in camp is plentiful and very good., and quite safe to drink—declared so by the doctors—*-so j'ou see we are being •;well looked after in Eg-vot.'"

;' : *'-The winners of the Shop Assistants' Poster Competition have been announced. The --judges were Mr. W. B. Bennett, manager The National Cash Register Company, and Mr. J. M. A. Ilott. of tlott's Advertising Agency, and they report the work was high-grade, and the competition a success in every way. s From a large number of entries the fol lowing 1 .have been selected for prizes:--

First orize, £5, Mr. G. Hillyer, Messrs. George and Kerslev, Ltd.; second prize, £2, Mr. H: B. Appleyard,..Messrs. Kirkea'ldie and Stains, Ltd.; third prize, £1, Mr. O. F» Smith, Messrs Kirkcaldie and Stains, Ltd., Napier: fourth r»rize. 10s, Mr. "W. Carman, Messrs. Geo. Fowlds. Ltd. Special prizes of £1 each have also been awarded to Mr. M. R.

Edwards and Mr. S. J. Hammond,. All the posters are on'display at the National Cash Register Company's office, 32 Cuba-street, and are well worth seeing.' * * * ■*

It is notified in this issue that separate elections are to be held on the 28tb inst. for the election (a) of two members of the Wellington Harbour Board by the payers of harbour dues on ships, and (b)of one member by the payers of harbour, dues other than dues on ships. Nomjuir ations will be received up till the 21st inst. '"''..

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZFL19150410.2.41

Bibliographic details

With the New Zealanders in Egypt., Free Lance, Volume XV, Issue 779, 10 April 1915

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1,425

With the New Zealanders in Egypt. Free Lance, Volume XV, Issue 779, 10 April 1915

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