Messines letter

Otago and Southland snipers, somewhere in France. Back row: N. Hardwick, W. Holdway, McIntyre, Logan, Rutherford, Bird, Frenge, Martin. Second row: D. Henry, Bulkey, Davies, Williamson, Arenas. Front row: A. Robinson, F. W. Hamill, S. Millar, Rodes. Some
Otago and Southland snipers, somewhere in France. Back row: N. Hardwick, W. Holdway, McIntyre, Logan, Rutherford, Bird, Frenge, Martin. Second row: D. Henry, Bulkey, Davies, Williamson, Arenas. Front row: A. Robinson, F. W. Hamill, S. Millar, Rodes. Some of these men have been killed or wounded. Some have been on active service for 30 months, mostly in lonely, nerve-trying positions, where discovery would mean instant death. - Otago Witness, 12.9.1917.
A Dunedin soldier, who was well known as a front-ranker with the Union Football Club a decade and a half ago, and who has been in the thick of the fighting at Gallipoli and France, writes in plain language, without any literary adornments, of his experiences in the Messines battle.

The letter is dated June 26.

''We have been having a very hard time of it this last month. You will know all about it from the papers by this time. I do not think it was as hard as the Somme, but it was bad enough. The old Hun got a big fright when he saw us in his trenches. He never got a chance. ... The Germans must have had a terrible fright, for the earth just trembled. We thought it was Fritz who was letting off the mines, but he put over gas, that is worse than all your mines and shells. I do not know how there was a Fritz alive. With the mines and the thousands of shells that were going over, you would have thought that no man could live in it. But we beat him. We were only 20 yards behind our barrage all the way, so he could not see us coming. It was awful slaughter to see the Huns lying about, not saying anything about those who got buried. We did not lose many going over, it was when we started to dig in that we got it. But we stuck to it, and we are still in it. I wish we were right out of it for a while. If there is a lively sector about you may be sure that the New Zealand boys are put there. We have been about this place for about seven months now, and this sector is the daddy of the lot. They never stop night or day, going all the time. Fritz put a 48-hour barrage of gas shells on us. We had no sleep, and you could not take your helmet off. I was glad when he stopped.''

Aramoana popular

One of the most charming seaside resorts in proximity to the city is that to be found in the vicinity of the big mole at the Otago Heads.

The beach, partially encircled by verdant hills, has a stretch of several miles, and one of its features is that its peculiar formation assures immunity from danger to the paddler or bather. When the handicap in the transit services can be fully overcome, this resort should become one of much popularity.

At present the Harbour Board has a number of sections leased at Aramoana, on most of which are erected picturesque and commodious residences. In the summer months the ferry company makes holiday trips, and it is hoped that the service will be extended during the coming season, to enable the town-dwellers to get away more frequently.

Picnickers have been much inconvenienced hitherto by the water difficulty, but this has now been overcome by the Harbour Board installing at the landing wharf special tanks for the sole use of visitors. Additional facilities for ''boiling the billy'' have also been installed along the sandhills.

Neglected children

A short sitting of the Juvenile Court was held before Mr J. R. Bartholomew, S.M. Three children were charged with not being under parental control.

The evidence of the police went to show that the youngsters, two girls and a boy, were the children of parents who had for some time been living apart. The infants, who had been under the care of the father, were neglected, both as regards clothing and nourishment.

The father denied the accusation of neglect. His Worship committed the children to the Caversham Industrial School, to be brought up in the Presbyterian religion, and ordered the father to contribute 4s weekly towards their individual support.

- ODT, 14.9.1917.

Add a Comment