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The Maoris in the Great War

Casualties and Sick, December, 1917

page 131

Casualties and Sick, December, 1917.

Though there had been no serious epidemic the Battalion's evacuated sick for December were rather heavy. Besides the wounded, two officers and 80 other ranks had been sent away and although many returned after a few days at the rest camps the wastage was considerable. All things considered, the men were fairly comfortable. The bivvies now in use were warm and dry; firewood was plentiful; the rations were good; and the men got a daily change of socks—a most important item in the field. Footballs had been provided, and platoons commanders were responsible for the use of these by their men, also camphor treatment for the prevention of “trench feet.” There had been a steady dribble of casualties, which made a rather heavy total for the month, vix.:—

Killed and died of wounds, 15 men; wounded, five officers and 41 men; total casualties, 61.

The reinforcements nearly balanced the total losses and evacuations.

An opportunity was given the members of the Battalion to subscribe to the New Zealand War Loan, and over £4,500 worth of bonds were taken up.

The total strength of the Battalion in the field at the end of 1917 was 928 of all ranks, consisting of 29 officers and 899 other ranks. A Company numbered 196, B Company 203, C Company 182, and D Company 236; transport 66. In addition there were about 50 men at Etaples ready to come forward, a further contingent at Sling Camp, and 15 N.C.O.'s at the O.T.C.