3rd July (1918)

Had a glorious gallop for about a mile on Rangatira.  Started in the rear of the ride but finished up in front and minus my hat.  We are within view of a ridge over which the front line passes; French mortars are growling over there and smoke drifting about.  The stew this evening was of the unappetising order which we common soldiers dub “dog’s vomit.”  Went on my usual nocturnal prowl and produced a crayon drawing of hay-cocks.  When you see the Lilliputian dimensions of the blocks I have to use for sketching, you will sympathise.

2nd July (1918)

After inordinate delay the projected review by the Premier and Ex-Premier of “Noo Zealand” came off a more idiotic performance you never witnessed.  The politicians were dumb – Boanerges was voiceless.  With downcast eyes and hastening steps two adipose, grey-silk-hatted, black-frock-coated civilians of familiar physiognomy, accompanied by a few red-hats, ambled round our expectant columns; then ambled off again to their motor and away.  Not a word!  Not a word!  “Not a drum was heard.”  Why the thing took place at all, I cannot surmise.

Last night Jerry dropped bombs all over the shop.  Perhaps it was that that dumbfounded the politicians.

[Note: Despite Lincoln’s clear annoyance at the absence of a speech from New Zealand’s two leading politicians, it seems likely from the photograph below that Massey did address some New Zealand artillerymen during his visit.  The Prime Minister was also photographed addressing large groups of New Zealand soldiers on 3 July at Etaples – see later below.]

nlnzimage 1-2 013355-G Massey addressing NZ Artillery at Louvencourt, 2 Jul 1918

Image: William Massey addressing members of the New Zealand Artillery at Louvencourt, France during World War I. Joseph Ward is standing second from right, partly obscured. Photograph taken 2 July 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref. 1/2-013355-G]

nlnzimage 1-2 013717-G Massey & Ward at Etaples, 3 Jul 1918

[Image: Prime Minister Massey and Sir Joseph Ward talk with assembled New Zealand troops stationed at the New Zealand Infantry and General Base Depot in Etaples during World War I. In the background are rows of tents and base buildings. Photograph taken 3 July 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref. 1/2-013717-G]

 

Monday, 1st July (1918)

A thunderous night, with multitudinous bombs in unpleasant proximity and guns banging off in all directions.  Some Tommies were killed in billets in the village.  Tomorrow we are to be inspected by Bill Massey and Joe Ward.

En route for baths, met a French woman in great distress over her cow which had become “blown” through eating too much clover.  The vets from another battery were helping her, poking a knife into its ribs and their arms down its throat, whilst she by aid of lively gesticulations and the use of the word “ballon” gave a vivid account of its earlier symptoms.  Joan, by the way, went up the road today in a killing get-up including rough bluey stockings and a huge pair of men’s army boots.  Her troubles!

nlnzimage 1-2 013298-G Massey & Ward reading message at exercise, 1 Jul 1918

[Image: Prime Minister William Massey and Sir Joseph Ward reading a message dropped by an aeroplane during tactical exercises of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade at Bois-de-Warnimont during World War I. Photograph taken 1 July 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.  Ref. 1/2-013298-G]