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BAXTER'S BREAKDOWN

Neutral Condition Causing Anxiety Dear "Truth," — I sincerely hope that you will be able to print this letter and enclosed communications. The subject Is that of Archibald Baxter, listed by the authorities as a religious objector. Sent away with reinforcements m July last, along with 13 others; and treated continually since then simply as a disobedient soldier, because our policy with regard ,to conscientious objectors does not recognise the claims of conscience except m the case of Quakers, Christadelphlans and Seventh Day Adventlsta. In consequence, Archibald Baxter has been punished so often for refusing to do what his conscience forbade him to do, that be has broken down m brain as well as body. His last letter i to his parents, and the subsequent j communication from- Base Records [ office here, copies of which I enclose, ! will put the whole thine before your j readers far better than any further words of mine. — Yours, etc., B. E. BAUGHAN. Sumner, Christchurch. Copy of Archibald Baxter's letter: Somewhere m France, March 5, 1918. My Dear Father and Mother, — I have just time to send you this brief note. I am being sent up to the lines to-morrow. I have not heard 1 where Jaok and Sandy (hig brothers) are. As far as military service goes, I am m the same mind as ever. It is impossible for me to serve m the Army. I would a thousand times rather be put to death, and I am sure you all believ* that the stand I take is right. I have never told you sinoe I left N.Z. of the things I have passed through, for I knew now it would hurt you. I only tell you now so that if anything happens to me you will know. I have Buffered to the limit of my endurance, but I will never m my sane senses -.surrender to the evil power that has fixed its roots like a cancer on tha world. I have been treated as a soldier who disobeys (Number 1 Field Punishment). THat is hard enough at this time of the year, but what mado it worse for me was, that I was bound to refuse to do military work even as a prisoner. It is not possible for me to tell m words what I have suffered, but you will be glad to know that I have met # great many men who have shown me the greatest kindness. I know that your prayers for me are not m vain, t will pray for you all to the lost. It is all I can do for you now. If you hear that I have served In the Army, or that I have taken my own life, do not b»Heve that I did it m my sound mind, no matter what anyone says. I never will. We are all standing together, although we are not far apart. I have not muoh more time, but I will write again as soon as I can. — Tour loving son, ARCHIE BAXTER. (Faßsed by Censor.) Copy. Base Records Branch N.Z. Military Forces. Wellington, May 14. 18. Mr. John Baxter, Brighton, Dunedin. Dear Sir,— Re 47814 Pte. Archibald MoL. Baxter, 1 have to advise that a cablegram has been received from overseas, stating that the above-named soldier was admitted to Hospital United Kingdom on May E, and his mental oondition was causing anxiety. I slnoerely trust that with care, rest and attention, Private Baxter will soon be restored to his normal health. — Yours faithfully, B. A. MORRIS. Chief Clerk. Inquiries of the Defence Department show that Archibald MoCall Learmond Baxter is one of the 14 men embarked last July. He is not flisted by the authorities as a. religious objector." He appealed on religious grounds, but, though notified of the hearing, did not

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZTR19180629.2.48

Bibliographic details

BAXTER'S BREAKDOWN, NZ Truth, Issue 680, 29 June 1918

Word Count
637

BAXTER'S BREAKDOWN NZ Truth, Issue 680, 29 June 1918

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