Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11 (February 1, 1936)

The Bush Camp

The Bush Camp.

“About four in the afternoon Jackson halted for the rest of the day. The men were thoroughly drenched and with the certainty of another wet night hanging over our heads it was thought advisable for their health and the safety of the ammunition to build huts for the night. The men clamoured for permission to light fires. At page 20 page 21 length after a lengthy war council it was decided that fires might be lit, as soon as darkness had set in fully; they were to be extinguished, however, two hours before daylight, to prevent the tell-tale smoke from being seen.

I had observed during the whole of this wet walk that Jackson and Hay were rather astonished that the ‘paperman’—myself—did not feel the damp as much as was to be expected from his calling. This rather amused me, this deceitfulness of appearances, for I had roughed it during eighteen years, in most zones, whereas they were just commencing such experiences. However, in spite of all stoicism on my part, once that it was dark and eager groups of fire-worshippers were tending the reluctant flame, I stretched forth my feet with pleasure to the fire and rejoiced at the comparative comfort and the prospect of dry socks for the morrow.”

I quote this much from Von Temp-sky's description of a three days' scout in the ranges, as a typical experience in the early days of the war. However, there was much to come, and the Rangers soon became thoroughly hardened to the rough nature of the work. Jackson had a lively skirmish in the heart of the Upper Wairoa bush, killed several Maoris, and captured a war-flag (which is now in the Auckland Old Colonists' Museum).