Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 8. July 16, 1941
* "Absent Friends" * — Letter from Egypt
* "Absent Friends" *
Letter from Egypt
To Friends at V.U.C.
Considering the number of men who've passed through V.U.C. in recent years, it's not surprising that you run into them everywhere in the Army. They studded the ranks of my reinforcement at Trentham and on the transports, and I've met many more, and heard about others, since our arrival.
Two ex-Presidents of the Students' Association in Lieutenants R. C. Bradshaw and H. R. C. Wild are Adjutants of infantry battalions. Bob Bradshaw's younger brother Bill is also here—a 2nd Lieutenant, I hear. Dick Hutchens, without whom Extravs, of late years were incomplete, is now better known as Capt. R. L. Hutchens, liaison officer with an infantry brigade. Lieut. M. J. Mason, haka leader, Procession organiser and Weir House President, is an intelligence Officer.
I see Harry Sansum occasionally. He tries to get in touch with as many V.U.C. men as possible. Harry entered Trentham with the infantry, but is now with the Signallers. He says he finds that unit more interesting. The other night he was writing to A. T. S. McGhie, who is still in England. Incidentally, McGhie's friend of Weir House days, Dick Simpson, is Lieut. R. S. V. Simpson, of the artillery. With Dick are Lieut. J. B. Aimers and Lieut. B. W. Brock.
A well-known Weir House trio in 1936 were Clinkard, Holmes and O'Reilly. Clinkard joined the R.A.F. and was killed early last year; 2nd Lieut. Grant Holmes is a Signals officer who had a good dose of the Western Desert, and Ron. O'Reilly, who did some debating at 'Varsity and had a liking for drawing in charcoal on his study wall, is still in New Zealand, I believe.
Doug. Burns, like Jack Aimers, was a President of the New Zealand Students' Association. Now he is Capt. D. M. Burns, of the Signallers. His elder brother Hec., at one time Secretary of the N.Z. Lawn Tennis Association, came over as a 2nd Lieut, in the infantry. Another V.U.C. graduate in law, J. L. MacDuff, is also a 2nd Lieut., but in what unit I don't know.
Mention of Harry Sansum reminds me that E. H. McCormick, Exec, member and Editor of "Spike," was appointed Assistant Archivist, with rank of Sergeant-Major, last week. He, Arthur Ashley-Jones and I were in the same infantry platoon at Trentham, and we all transferred to medical just before final leave. Mac. was very well liked. The appointment was made shortly after he had had an interview with Mr. Peter Fraser. It seemed quite wrong that the talents of a Cambridge M.Litt. Who had edited our Government's series of Centennial pictorials should not be put to some useful purpose. Mac. himself is delighted. He was on the staff of the transport magazine, "Ake, Ake, Kia Kaha," and wrote the account of the voyage as far as Colombo, where the magazine went to press.
Glen MacMorran's four predecessors as Secretaries of the V.U.C. Tennis Club, were Ian McAllister, Derek Christensen, myself and Harold Sivyer, going back to 1937. All four of us are here. Ian is in Base Records, Derek is a 2nd Lieut, in infantry, and Harold Sivyer, I think, is an N.C.O. in infantry. Carl Heine, Secretary of the Students' Association for two years, is also here. Like A. R. Anderson, "Salient's" Sports Editor last year, Carl left with an earlier reinforcement.
I saw Mark Hatherly a few days ago. He looked somewhat the worse for wear, having just returned from Crete, where his foot made contact with a bullet, no serious harm resulting. He was sporting a yellowish moustache, and was looking for Dick Simpson and Jack Aimers. Mark himself scorns pips and stripes, and remains a private.
Officer Cadets Trevor Rapley, Bruce Kirkcaldie and Martin Liddle travelled part of the way with us on the transport. I used to think that Jack Withers ranked next to Martin Liddle among 'Varsity singers (as distinct from crooners).
Two well-known cricketers in our unit are J. A. R. Blanford and H. B. Massey. A. P. Monteath, who represented Otago last season in the Plunket Shield, is a Company Sergeant-Major, an office also held by Roy Hansen and Ewart Hay. A. P. Cobden, another cricketer, is here, in the Artillery.
Weir House fellows in the noble ranks of the privates include Jack Jeffs, George Row, Jim Halpin, and Charlie Gates. I've also met Jack Clendon (Law), John Lennie and Dennis Hogan (Commerce), and John Love (Science). V. J. Palmer, who took Law and was in the First Fifteen, is with the infantry.
I suppose you know that Lieut. J. C. White is an A.D.C. to Major-General Freyburg. Two other officers are Captain W. H. Thodey and 2nd Lieut. Terry Ralfe. My O.C. in the infantry at Trentham was Capt. R. R. T. Young, who once went to V.U.C., I think, and later represented New Zealand in Davis Cup matches.
I'm working in our unit's orderly room at present, my immediate boss being Corporal R. W. J. Martin, who took Arts, and won a hockey "blue" in 1933. John Lennie and Jack Blandford are also working in the office. I met Stewart Wilson, a 2nd Lieutenant, in town a few days ago.
Five more. Frank Newcombe (Hockey Club Captain) is in the Field Ambulance; Roy Johnstone (Editor of "Cappicade" last year) is a Sergeant; Don Viggers is in Base Records with I. D. McAllister, and Doug. Zohrab, M.A., is a Sergeant working in the Public Relations Office under Major C. A. L. Treadwell.
That's all the men I can call to mind. Some months ago a V.U.C. re-union as held, between thirty and forty attending. With so many prominent personalities here, including at least three former Secretaries of the Students' Association, and sundry Presidents and Vice-Presidents (John White was a Vice-President) also, another re-union will probably be arranged, and I'll let you have an account of it.
Kindest regards to all,