British papers’ oversight

Otago boys of the 4th platoon, A company, 42nd Reinforcements in camp. Standing (from left): W.F....
Otago boys of the 4th platoon, A company, 42nd Reinforcements in camp. Standing (from left): W.F. Stark, Roy McDonald, L.E. Wilson, J. Ramsay. Sitting: A. Scoles, R.L.G. Barclay, M. Barclay, W. McLeod. — Otago Witness, 10.7.1918.
Some letters from the front contain complaints that the London Newspapers, with the exception of The Times, made far too little of the part played by the New Zealand troops in stemming the enemy’s onset in the early days of this year’s offensive.

Information from other sources has shown how important and effective that part was, and it seems strange that it was ignored, or at least minimised, by the correspondents of English journals. Some atonement for this neglect is to be found in the whole hearted praises and admiration of French soldiers and writers, A New Zealand soldier, referring to the actions of our division write:  The French papers were loud in their praises. One described our Third Brigade as the "premier brigade of the premier division of the British army". Going some, eh? Another has two and a half columns about us and reckoned we saved Amiens. However, "C’est la guerre, n’est pas?" Our infantry will do me, at any rate; they are the last thing in attack, and the French troops that are with us now just love them.

Confidence rules

An Otago chaplain writes at the end of April: "Of course, it is saddening to thing that practically all ground won in 1916 has again fallen into the hands of the Hun. However, in spite of the adverse conditions prevailing at present, everybody seems in the best of heart. The general impression is that soon the tide will turn, and the allies will come into their own. Not anyone here doubts the final victory of the Allies, and determination. You will have heard that our boys — i.e,. the New Zealand Division, covered themselves with glory in stopping the onrush of the Hun, which threatened to break the line. Since then the French people simply worship the New Zealander. I need hardly say we are all proud of the fact. Somehow or other there is a deep-seated conviction among all ranks here that the war will be over by the end of the year. The spirit of firm confidence in a dark hour — confidence entertained be it remembered, not by politicians at a distance, but by the fighting men who have borne the discomfiture and have appreciated alike its seriousness and its limitations — has a highly suggestive significance, and it may well serve as timely tonic to timid folk.

Homing pigeons

Mr C. Kirkby, of the Canterbury Pigeon Flying Club, has been appointed by the mobilisation of Defence as controller of the mobilisation of homing pigeon for service on the western front. The first batch of 300 pigeons will be despatched shortly.

Catlins roads

Roads in Catlins, despite improved and more-money methods, have not quite lost the character ascribed to them by tradition (says the Balclutha Free Press). A Balclutha business man who visited there this week in a motor car reports that he had to be pulled out with a team of horses in one place.

Money in rabbits

High prices are at present ruling in the rabbitskin market, and where rabbitters are trapping for the skins some big cheques are recorded. A representative of city firm was operating in the Cromwell district last week, and was readily offering 65s per 100 for well-dressed winter skins, and 1s each for black skins. — ODT, 15.7.1918

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