8th, 9th, and 10th days (10-12 April 1917)

We are constantly being reminded of the great importance of keeping ourselves clean, yet we are deprived of the means of cleanliness.  We get a salt shower once a week, but, as Bullen points out, it is quite impossible to cleanse either flesh or clothes with sea water.  I must tell you of how two corporals perform their morning ablutions.  Finding the salt water impossible, they take turns in filling a small mug with fresh (drinking only) water, emptying it over their bowed heads and catching it en route in their hands and smearing it over their faces.  The mess on the cabin floor they then utilise for scrubbing out.  The clock is put on every night to allow for the distance by which each day we overtake the rising sun.  The ship is now sailing with no lights showing and a double look-out.  Portholes being all screwed down it is rather stuffy below.  They are going to get out a ship’s paper or magazine and a prize of half a guinea is offered for the best title therefor.  Weather a little warmer.  We have not sighted a single ship.  Indian clubs, forming pyramids, somersaults etc., are being introduced into our drill.  We have not had an hour’s sunshine for a week.  Saw a small piece of ice of a few tons weight but it is too late in the year for bergs (luckily, as weather is very foggy).

“Indian clubs, forming pyramids, somersaults etc., are being introduced into our drill”, aboard New Zealand Troopship, SS Corinthic, 1917

3 thoughts on “8th, 9th, and 10th days (10-12 April 1917)”

  1. I did wonder what they were doing this for. I though it was something theatrical. But drill practice makes more sense, if a little difficult, in such confined quarters.

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  2. Dear John

    Years ago, when I was going through Dad’s letters, I came upon one of the soldiers’ ship’s magazines. It was very rough but very amusing. I can’t find it, and wonde If I gave it to tthe Auckland museum. Have you seen a copy?

    I’m enjoying the walk/march efforts. Keep them up. Great stuff, Lincoln.

    I’m having two photos of Lincoln’s – the outside the tent and portrait of Warwick – printed at my local photo shp. I’m so glad to have them. Dad was 45 when I was born, so I didn’t know him in those days!

    Warm regards

    Angela

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    1. Dear Angela,

      You are likely correct in your recollection. Although this is pre-empting the diary by a few entries, the ship’s magazine ended up being called “Tiki Talk” (after the tiki on the infantrymen’s badges). The Auckland War Memorial Museum holds a copy, but whether it is one you may have provided, I don’t know. See: http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/collection/object/am_library-catalogq40-36597

      Both Lincoln and Warwick are recorded in ‘The Corinthians’ Roll Call’ near the end of the magazine: Warwick as a Corporal, and Lincoln as a Gunner.

      Glad you are enjoying the blog. I am too, more than I expected. And I’m glad you are getting hard copies made of the photographs.

      Yours,

      John Lincoln Hutton (yes, I was given Lincoln as my middle name; brother Richard takes Lee as his middle name. So together we are the complete package, I guess!)

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