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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909

Victoria College Officers' Training Corps

page 50

Victoria College Officers' Training Corps

"And the Captain waved a corkscrew in his hand."


Caricature of man in army uniform

"The Spike knows what the ordinary student evidently forgets, that the student who works for his College, already has about twice as much to do he can do thoroughly." Such was the comment of the Editor of The Spike when the formation of an Officers' Training Corps was proposed. We bow to his good judgement. We admit without dispute that one who joins the Corps will have to consider well before he pledge his time to the service of other College clubs. We do not. However consider that this is so wholly bad a thing as the Editor appears to think. In recent years the College roll has page 51 grown till it has become almost impossible for any single student to play a leading part on every College club. The less gifted of us have perforce to specials and we think that a knowledge of the art of defence in more necessary than a knowledge of tennis or cricket. Some seventy-eight students have, therefore been sworn in as members of the Victoria College Officers' Training Corps.

It should, perhaps, be explained that the end for which the Corps exists is the training of men who shall undertake the duties of officers in the Militia if that such an action becomes necessary, the Militia will be hopelessly under-officered has long been recognized. The Defence Council hopes that will remedy this weakness. It is presumed that those who join them will have already undergone some years of military training at school. All their training in the Officers' Training Corps will be directed towards implanting a knowledge of the duties of officers. It is not, of course, intended that members should will become officers in the Volunteer Companies, particularly in the county districts. The discipline and organization of the Corps are those of an ordinary Volunteer Company, but the work is of a more advanced nature than that usually undertaken by volunteers.

On the 4th August, seventy-four students were sworn in for service for two years as volunteers. Rifles, slings, belts, and bayonets were served out, and measurements were taken for uniforms. A number of parades have since been held—among them a sham-fight on the hills beyond Karori. This last-named served to show how well we hold to the old English tradition of meeting the enemy face to face, despising concealment and all similar trickery. The attacking force advanced in column of fours along a metalled road until the defenders opened fire at four hundred yards range. Thereafter came a series of encounters in the gullies and along the ridges of Johnston's Hill. The attack was pushed home with blare of budge and clamour of men till on a little terrace half-way to the summit the opposing commander yielded up his sword. Then the Corps seated itself on a tree trunk and Major Lascelles made pungent comment on the conduct of attack and defence.

The uniform chosen for the Corps is one of khaki. The buttons are of leather, putties are worn, and all the adjuncts are of the plainest. The rifles are to be stored in racks at College. It is hoped that the Corps will go into Camp with the Auckland University College O. T. C. somewhere on the Main Trunk line in January or February.

R. St. Beere. O. C.