5 Jul 2015

War Report - 5 July 2015

From New Zealand in World War I, 8:53 pm on 5 July 2015

A newspaper report on recruiting in early July 1915.

An extract from a letter written from Quinn’s Pots by Colonel Malone in mid-July and memories of tunneling at Quinn’s Post. Extract from diary of Colonel Malone at Quinn’s Post:

Ernest Harston: In Quinn's, night merged into day there wasn't very much difference because we were so close to each other that you were continually on guard. We tunnelled under their trenches and they tunnelled under ours. We used to have men down below, listening and we would tunnel towards any place where we heard them coming. We would stop and lay a charge and then come back and wait and the bomb officer, er, explosive officer would sit there in my dug-out and say "Goodbye Johnny" and up would come the exploder and down, you see, and there would come the explosion. The Turks would probably do the same to us the next night.

Jim Meek: I was never actually in the mining team. That was New Zealand Tunnelling - mostly chaps who had worked in the mines and on goldfields and that back in NZ, but I was told by them about an unpleasant incident. One of our chaps noticed a spot in the roof of his tunnel where he was working, it was threatening to cave in, so he decided to insert an upright prop at the spot. Just as he was lowering the prop firmly into position it suddenly dropped through the floor of the shaft right at his feet and disappeared. A Turkish shaft was right below ours!

Ernest Harston: The tunnellers were continually working and they used to wake me up as I was the Adjutant and they couldn't get rum unless they had a chit from me. And they deserved their rum, crawling into these tunnels, picking away and listening, listening, never knowing if the Turk was lurking for them just as we used to lurk for the Turk.

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: Courtland and Jeffries
Song: Oh! It’s a Lovely War
Composer: Long/Scott
Album: Songs of World War 1
Label: Goentertainment 557331

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes