London temptations

Soliders manning a New Zealand machine gun position on the Somme. - Otago Witness, 10.7.1918
Soliders manning a New Zealand machine gun position on the Somme. - Otago Witness, 10.7.1918
Sir Thomas McKenzie was recently interviewed by the Empire News, Manchester, on his demand that the State should take steps to protect soldiers from the class of women who hang about the camps and clubs, especially in London. He says that the conditions which are allowed to prevail in London and other large cities are a perfect disgrace. ''When our men arrive on furlough in London they are accosted by loose women on leaving the railway stations.

Men have told me that in some cases they had to listen to abusive language from women with whom they refused to go. I am glad to say, however, that recently an improvement to these conditions has taken place. In the neighbourhood, of Russell square, in which some of our hostels are situated, women congregate, not in tens or twenties, but in hundreds.

Our military authorities take every possible precaution to save the men from the evil results of contact. But, notwithstanding all precautions, conditions continue which, to say the least, are a reflection on the authorities of the Home Country.''

Concern for settlers

The isolated condition of certain settlers in Lee's Valley, situated in the country back of Oxford who have been cut off from all communication since last week's big storm commenced, has been occasioning considerable anxiety.

Two unsuccessful attempts were made to reach the valley, and a day or two ago a third expedition was organised, the members of the party being Messrs F. H. Waters (Government surveyor), P. O'Malley, P. Duckworth, W. Lilly, H. Francis, J. Lukies, A. Keats and E. Gibson.

This party carried with it one of the Lyttelton Times carrier pigeons and on Wednesday the pigeon returned with a message to the effect that the party had penetrated the snow-clad foot ranges as far as a point of 2000ft altitude on the slopes of the Blow Hard peak.

The message went on to state that the party found 12in of snow at Glentui, increasing to 30in at Government Gate three miles further on. Great difficulty was found in making progress after this point, members of the party taking the lead in their turn through an ever increasing depth of snow.

On the slopes of Blow Hard the snow was soft and about 5ft in depth in some of the drifts on the track, and this and the presence of a large quantity of fallen timber made further progress impossible. Settlers who were spoken to expressed deep gratitude for the kindness of Mrs J. O'Halloran of the Glentui Estate, whence previous attempts to push through to the back country had been made.

It was stated by the people of the district that greatest anxiety was felt concerning the welfare of Messrs Starky and Loft, who are still snowed in and from whom no communication has been received.

The nor'-wester was softening the snow and increasing the difficulties of walking, but the settlers will continue their attempts to reach the isolated men and a different route will be tried immediately.

Smarten up, boys

Non-commissioned officers and men are warned in Trentham Camp orders that whilst on pass or on a leave from camp they will be returned to camp at once and have their pass or leave cancelled for the following offences:- Failing to salute officers wearing civilian greatcoats, being dirty and slovenly.

- ODT, 12.7.18


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