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STILL AWAITING RELATIVES, Issue 1167, 12 April 1928
STILL AWAITING RELATIVES
State Can Afford To Send His Mother To Sydney (From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Wellington Representative.) The steps to be taken m regard to the mystery soldier, happlfy identified through the efforts of "Truth," have not been decided.
ALTHOUGH the man's mother has A. expressed not only her willingness, but her keen desire, to go over to Australia for her son, there seems to be an official hitch as to whom rightly belongs the duty of sending her. Just prior to the Easter holidays, Base Records were, m communication with the mother at Stratford, but no definite decision had been come to. It is contended by the military authorities that they— very plainly— have no power to send the mother of George Thomas McQuay to Sydney. In the meantime, the matter has been referred to the Internal Affairs Department for consideration. It seems' a pity that circumlocution and red-tape should interfere with what Is obviously the State's duty. The man has been identified and the mother and relatives of the unfortunate soldier located. Apart altogether from the circumstances surrounding this soldier's perhaps strange transition whilst m uniform, it behoves the authorities to afford every opportunity for his immediate return — if humanly possible — to full consciousness and understanding. There is no necessity to stress the need for the immediate despatch of Mrs. McQuay to Sydney. If there is to be official quibbling and petty red-tape as to whom should defray the cost, it will be an objectionable blot on the escutcheon of the New Zealand Government and its particular departments. The points that have yet to be cleared up, are whether the meeting of mother and son will effect a return to mental stability and whether any tangible links can be found .establishing how and when George Thomas McQuay ceased to be a member of the N.Z.E.F. and bobbed up m the uniform of an Australian soldier. There might be a hundred causes for this peculiarity of war, but until the issue is cleared up once and for all, no effort — official or private — should be spared to give this man at least the mentality he possessed when he was game enough to throw In his lot with
the gallant fifth contingent tha ; t left. New Zealand. The photograph appearing on the front page of this Issue of "Truth" Is one of the several despatched from Sydney and actually was the print from which the man's mother Identified her son at Stratford when "Truth" journeyed there. It la interesting to note that even when at his worst stage of mental wandering, he has not faced the camera without having his trousers creased and his boots polished. He is wearing a tie with a soft collar, although this Is not at once recognizable. Even this circumstance — coupled with the fact that for a brief moment or two, when confronted by his old friend, "Billy Porter, of Taranakl," he knew the visitor— carries a suggestion that as contact with those he remembers grows, he will come round. Just what effect his mother or sister will have on him is difficult to say. But it is at once clear that a man who was considered good enough for the Army and was willing enough to enlist; is worth a little extra care now, when he has found his way into the darkness of a weakened mind and memory. It is sincerely to be hoped that the mother is sent over to her son without unnecessary delay. Writing from Walhou, the father of the mystery soldier sent the following letter to "Truth" last week: "As father of the unknown soldier, Thomas George McQuay, I take this opportunity of writing to thank you sincerely for the way you worked to prove my/^son's identity, for you left no stone unturned, even when other* failed. "I have received other papers and there has been practically nothing m about him. "I would also like to thank Bill Porter, mentioned In your paper, for I know that he and my son were schoolmates together and would recognize him m a minute. "I cannot speak too highly of your paper. Again thanking you . . . "Robert McQuaj** .
STILL AWAITING RELATIVES, Issue 1167, 12 April 1928
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