1 Mar 2015

War Report - 1 March 2015

From New Zealand in World War I, 8:54 pm on 1 March 2015

By March 1915 the war had settled down to a round of recruiting, sending parcels to Belgium and hearing news of the New Zealanders training in Egypt. The anti-military training lobby of the pre-war years had died off - patriotic support for the Empire overshadowed all.

On New Year's Eve 1914, inflamed with anti-German hostility, a crowd of about a thousand people ransacked Friedrich and Anna Wohnsiedler's butchery in the main street of Gisborne. The couple fled with their three young children out a top-storey window and across planks to an adjacent building. Pork lovers' loss was to be wine lovers' gain, for the Wohnsiedlers retreated to Waihirere and there established Poverty Bay's first significant winery.

Ripa Island in Lyttelton harbour, once a detention centre for conscientious objectors was now an artillery base and the regulations regarding military detection of defaulting Territorial soldiers there were suspended - the high-minded protest of the young men imprisoned there in a year earlier almost forgotten. Jack Perkins describes the decline of military detention as patriotism builds.

Alex Day recalls the headmaster of Christchurch Boys' High School Charles Edmund Bevan-Brown, and his farewells to old boys leaving to serve overseas and his record keeping of all who gave their lives. A report on a farewell held by "the messengers in the various Government departments in Wellington, to the number of upwards of 100, met at a "smoke concert" last night to bid farewell to one of their number, Messenger J. Flynn."

Music extracts:

Artist: John McCormack
Song: There's a Long Long Trail A Winding
Composer: King/Elliott
Album: Oh, It's a Lovely War Vol 2
Label: CD41 486309

Artist: n/s
Song: We Don't want to Fight but By Jingo…
Composer: McDermott/Hunt
Album: n/s
Label; n/s