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Lieutenant-colonel Colquhoun, who recently returned from the front, was granted three weeks' leave of absence. On reporting at Wellington on the expiry of that period, he applied for a term of service in the dominion and a month's leave, which was certainly a moderate request after three years and eight months' service.
The application for home service was turned down, and, after appearing before the Military Board, the officer was granted a month's leave without pay! Considering that his family reside in the extreme south and he has to pay his own travelling expenses, we consider that this would have been a sufficiently heavy item; but to have his pay stopped in addition is undoubtedly 'rubbing it in'.
There are so many officers occupying comfortable seats on the 'military wagon', and who have never been to the front, that it would be a pity to disturb them; but we contend that those who have 'done their bit' should receive more consideration than has been given to Colonel Colquhuon.''
A man was charged at Wanganui on Monday week with neglecting a child of two years of age, in such manner as to cause unnecessary suffering. Defendant, a big, health-looking man, pleaded guilty. The detective said the accused, who was a small dairy farmer, had shown gross neglect.
He and his wife and child lived in a three-roomed shanty, and the conditions, especially in the present weather, were very bad, For some years the wife had had St. Vitus' dance, and she had not been in a condition to care for the little child properly. A complaint concerning the affairs had reached the police, who went out and found the woman in an unkempt condition and on the verge of a breakdown.
There was food in the house, but the woman was not in a condition to avail herself of it. From July 9 to 14 the accused had been away to the Wellington races. He had made some arrangements with a neighbour to call in and see his family, but otherwise no arrangement for female assistance had been made. The police and a lady member of the Hospital Board had visited the place, and had at once taken the woman to the hospital and the child had been taken care of.
When the accused came back from Wellington he found the place empty. He admitted to the police what he had done, but said he did not realise that things were so bad. It had been pointed out to him that had his wife died he would have been charged with manslaughter. Defendant was convicted and sentence postponed.
Snow in the hinterland
Arrowtown has presented the appearance of a village in the bombarded regions of France. The snow lay to a depth of over two feet, and narrow tracks cut across the streets amid snow suggested the idea of communication trenches!
The town water supply was cut short by reason of the race breaking away, and for some days household supplies had to be sledged from the river. Coal was also short, but eventually relief was effected in some consignments coming to hand from the Gibbston mine.
- ODT, 2.8.1918
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