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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Camp Townships

page 27

Camp Townships

Trentham and Featherston Camps, with their comfortable hutments, solidly metalled streets, water-supply, drainage, electric lighting, military workshops, halls (for religious services, recreation, reading, writing and concerts), well-equipped hospitals, and other appointments, as well as private shops, are practically compact townships.

The authorities have unmistakably built for permanence; (they evidently had in mind a time beyond this war, when the two large establishments (each able to house 4,500 men, with the full complement of officers) will be very useful for Territorial purposes.

When Major McCristell (then Captain and Camp Quarter-master) arrived at the site of Trentham on 19th October, 1914, he had a bare stony field to survey. The little group of buildings used by the Rifle Association were merely dots in a large landscape. Next day the 2nd Reinforcements, 2,500 men, came along, and the making of a habitable camp began vigorously.

There is an impression that the new Trentham is due to last winter's epidemic of sickness. Fairness to the authorities requires a correction of that notion. The plans for the camp, as it stands to-day, were well on the way to completion before that trouble developed. An exceptionally wet winter bindered progress for a time.

Visitors to the camps have an admiration of their orderliness, tidiness and smooth working. They are an object lesson to many a municipality.

The infantry of each reinforcement begin their training at Trentham, continue it at Featherston, and complete it at Trentham after a march over the Rimutakas and bivouac and night operations en route. The total time of preparation is four months.

The great importance of Trentham for the training of infantry lies in the rifle ranges. There are 75 targets on the long ranges, and 50 on the grouping ranges, making a total of 125 targets.

References to the temporary camps of Maymorn, Tauherenikau and Rangiotu (now used for Territorials only), also Narrow Neck (where the Maoris are trained) are crowded out of this issue.

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Crossing the Rimutakas-The posts

Crossing the Rimutakas-The posts

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