Lt. Col shows extreme bravery in charge

New Zealand engineer officers on H.M.S. Avenger. Back row (from left): Engineer Sub-lieutenants H. H. Wilson (Mosgiel) T. G. McLaren (Dunedin), W. J. Urquhart (Dunedin), W. H. Richardson (Dunedin), G. H. McLeod (Auckland). Front row: Engineer-lieutenants
New Zealand engineer officers on H.M.S. Avenger. Back row (from left): Engineer Sub-lieutenants H. H. Wilson (Mosgiel) T. G. McLaren (Dunedin), W. J. Urquhart (Dunedin), W. H. Richardson (Dunedin), G. H. McLeod (Auckland). Front row: Engineer-lieutenants R. Cook (Port Chalmers), A. L. Gatland (Onehunga), Engineer-commander J. Dunlop (Port Chalmers), Engineer-lieutenant S. J. Wells (Christchurch). - Otago Witness, 14.3.1917.
The official story is now told of the ''valour and utter contempt of danger'' of Lieutenant-colonel Freyberg in the great charge of the Royal Naval Division.

It states: ''Captain (temp. Lieutenant-colonel) Bernard Cyril Freyberg, D.S.O. For most conspicuous bravery and brilliant leading as a battalion commander. By his splendid personal gallantry he carried the initial attack straight through the enemy's front system of trenches. Owing to mist and heavy fire of all descriptions, Lieutenant-colonel Freyberg's command was much disorganised after the capture of the first objective. He personally rallied and reformed his men, including men from other units who had become intermixed. He inspired all with his own contempt of danger. At the appointed time he led his men to the successful assault of the second objective - many prisoners being captured. During this advance he was twice wounded. He again rallied and reformed all who were with him, and, although unsupported in a very advanced position, he held his ground for the remainder of the day and throughout the night, under heavy artillery and machine gun fire. When reinforced on the following morning he organised the attack on a strongly-fortified village, and showed a fine example of dash in personally leading the assault, capturing the village and 500 prisoners. In this operation he was again wounded. Later in the afternoon he was again severely, but refused to leave the line till he had issued final instructions. The personality, valour, and utter contempt of danger on the part of this single officer enabled the lodgement in the most advanced objective of the corps to be permanently held, and on this point d'appui the line was eventually formed."

•Mr Moss, a member of the newly appointed National Efficiency Board, pointed out to a meeting of farmers and business men at Wanganui on Saturday that there were great difficulties ahead in organising the man-power of the dominion, and so arranging affairs that essential industries will be carried on effectively, and production maintained.

It was suggested, he said, that three sheep farms could be worked by the same supervisor, and that the same teams could be worked in neighbouring properties, whilst someone with very little knowledge of the subject suggested that dairy farms could be grouped and worked together (laughter).

It was not so difficult to manage sheep farms, but the dairying industry presented many difficulties, which, however, they hoped to overcome by proper and efficient organisation. What they had to carefully watch was that those going away to fight for us were not called upon to make every sacrifice. Coming through the Manawatu he saw a property that was going to rack and ruin.

A young fellow had taken it up, but could not dispose of it when called up, neither could he make arrangements for its care during his absence. The result was that it was rapidly going back to scrub. This was wrong, and the country must see to it that the interests of these brave soldier boys were protected and conserved.

•Rabbit trapping for canning works and freezer is in full swing, and many thousands of rabbits are being treated daily (says the Dunstan Times).

The industry is giving employment to many hands, and good money is being made on all sides. It is understood that the product of the canning works is being taken by the Government at a satisfactory price.

- ODT, 16.3.1917.

 

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