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BACK FROM THE WAR.

THE MAHENO ARRIVES. RETURNED CANTERBURY MEN. The hospital ship Maheno, which arrived at Auckland on Tuesday, brought her contingent of Gl returned wounded and sick Canterbury soldiers to Lyttelton this morning. She berthed punctually at 9 o'clock. His Excellency the Governor, Lord Liverpool, came down from Wellington on the ship, while Lady Liverpool went to Lyttelton by train to welcome the returned men.

The public enthusiasm which was in evidence earlier in the war, and which was wont to manifest itself when soldiers came home from the battlefields, seems to have waned. A few months ago these men, in the fidl flush of youth, hustle, and vigour, departed 'midst martial fanfares, showers of flowers, stentorian cheers, and a deluge of gifts. Today they came back hollow-eyed and physically impaired, welcomed only by sad-faced women and silent men. What a contrast it presented to him who had seen both departure and return! The only flowers seen on tire wharf were three large baskets of sweet-peas, carried on board by Lady Liverpool's party. Relatives crowded eagerly to the ship's side. They were not allowed on board until the eight cot cases were taken oil. This was a slow business, and presented a pathetic picture. The majority of these poor fellows had been badly hurt. As the stretchers moved through the avenue of khaki, weak hands were raised in token of farewell. Some smiled —their eyes lighting up momentarily with some of their old-lime sparkle—as they acknowledged the "good-bye, old man!" of the mates who had gone through with them the most trying ordeals that man ha's ever been called upon to face. Others made no movement. Motionless and unconscious of what was going on, they were carried down the gangway and placed in the Red Cross van a few feet away. A tired little woman, with a brightfaced child was lifted into the van. "Daddv" was not so baOiy maimed after all. He would be out and about again in a little while, so he assured the pair with a cheerfulness that must long have been held in restraint against this home-coming. Then it was that the woman and child's bravery went to pieces. The anxiety of weeks swept it away in a torrent of tears —tears of joy. At last the cot cases were taken off, and the disembarkation began. There were many arms in slings, many withered hands thrust into belts, and several heads still swathed in bandages. Sticks, too, were in abundance; other soldiers limped down without any aid* To the nurses all said good-bye reluctantly and earnestly." Possibly in the gladness of the moment, saying farewell to the nurses brought back vivid recollections of other scenes in other lands where men are still being hurt and maimed. Just before the men began to leave the ship, the Monowai, with 800 soldiers on board, canie in. Her decks were packed with men on leave for Christmas, and as she passed the Maheno a great cheer went up. It was a tribute of acknowledgment from those who vet had to learn to those that knew. And as the Monowai swept past the men on the Maheno smiled grimly. They, 100, had cheered gaily a few months ago; they, too, had clambered over the ship's sides impatient to escape from the routine of camp and drill. Vitality and buoyancy of spirits had then been theirs also. But they had had a taste of war; and, as the cheersrang loud on this peaceful summer morning, the smile of wounded men had much in it that was significant. A little while afterwards many of them met—the men that knew' and the men who had yet to learn. They greeted each other on the station platform. Here it was that further contrasts presented themselves. The women-folk of the returned men were radiantly happy. Those who were meeting their husbands and brothers oh leave were happy, too, but at the back of it could be seen the dread of that parting which must in a few weeks inevitably come. The names of those who came back are as follow: Beans, Lieut. W.; Gresson, Major K. M.j Teichelman, ('.apt. E. Amos, Sgt. A.; Angus, Pte. R.; Appleton, Sgt. R. ,T.; Arbuckle, Pte. E. Barron, C.pl. C. J.; Batten, Gnr. S.; Baxter, Pte. A..; Blvtli, Dvr. R. S.; Boaz, Pte. VV.;, Broad. Rfm. F. W.; Brooks, Pte. C. R. \V.; Brown, C.pl. C. E.; Brown, Pte. J. Chnppell, Pte. W.; Chennery, Gnr. E. W.; Clarke., Cpl. A. L.; Cowan, Tpr. C. H. Daly, Him. T. C; D'Arcy, Pte. NV.; Deakln, Pte. G. T.; Dee, Rfm. A. C; Duncan, Spr. E.; Ede, Pte. J. H.: Elliott, Pte. W. .1. Faulkner, Rim. E. W.; Fletcher, Pte. H.; Forstcr, Tpr. .]. B.; Eraser, Spr. \\'.; Freed, Pte., E. B. Grant, Rfm. T. W. 1. Hart, Gnr. E. E. .1.; Haul), Cpl. A. J.; Hight, Pte. G. L. Kearton, Pte. ,1. A.; Keel'c, Rfm. A. B. S.; Keys, Pte. C. E.; Kilday, Klin. A. Little, Tpr. D. A. Magon, Pte. F. L.; Miles, Pte. .7.; MoKenzie. Pte. .!.; McLaughlin, Pte. T. 11. Nelligan, Rfm. T.; Nelson, Gnr. R. O'Mallcy, Rfm. G. H. S.

Rupcne, Pte. 11.; Russell, Rfm. A. E. Scott, Rfm. J. A.; Stock, Tpr. 11. C. Tavlor, Ptc. L. S.; Torrance, Rfm. J. \V.; Trcgoning, Pte; H. V.; Tubb, Tpr. (1. H. Waters, Pte. H. E.; Watson. Tpr. J.; Withers, Sgt. G.; Wright, Pte. A. T.; Wvatt, Pte. C. Of the eight cases that require further treatment, five were taken at once to the Christchurch Hospital. These were:—Gunner S. Batten, Private J. Brown, Rifleman T. W. I. Grant, Private H. Rupene, Private A. McU. Baxter. 1). Jack (cook on the Mahcnoi, who is seriously ill, was also admitted to the hospital. AT THE STATION. Jl was about 11 o'clock when the train bearing the wounded soldiers pulled into the Christchurch railway station. A good number of people—relatives and friends of the soldiers, and members of the Automobile Association, and others who had attended to assist in their conveyance—had assembled on the south platform. There was no cheering and no demonstration. The men were welcomed quietly, and men unable to leave their beds smiled happily through the windows of the Red dross car, and there was relief and joy on every worn and pain marked face. A Maori soldier—just a boy—laughed at the waiting people out of sheer joy at being back home again. He was still compelled to keep his bed, and his form was wasted in a manner that told how he had suffered for the Empire that is the Maoris' as well as the -Pakeha's. His relatives found him at the window, a little Maori girl welcoming her brother through the pane. There were tears in the womens eyes—probably because

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SUNCH19161222.2.53

Bibliographic details

BACK FROM THE WAR., Sun, Volume III, Issue 895, 22 December 1916

Word Count
1,134

BACK FROM THE WAR. Sun, Volume III, Issue 895, 22 December 1916

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