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Official History of the Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1918

Ordered to France

page 81

Ordered to France.

At the beginning of March it had been made known that the New Zealand Division would at an early date be transferred to France. This, it was realised, meant that the Regiment would sooner or later be thrown into the vortex of the main struggle on the Western Front. Viewed in the light of the immediate prospects which it offered of change of conditions and environment, the announcement was received with general, if subdued, enthusiasm. An exchange of eternal sand for green fields was alluring enough in itself, quite apart from other considerations, real or imagined, Mobilkation parades became the order of the closing days of March; the thousand and one details of equipment, of fitness, of personnel, of stores, and finally of movement and embarkation now received attention.

Appointments to the principal commands in the Regiment were made as follows:—

1st Battalion.—Officer Commanding, Lieut.-Colonel Charters; Second-in-Command, Major C. E. Andrews; Adjutant, Lieut. W. F. Tracy; 4th (Otago) Company, Captain D. White; 8th (Southland) Company, Captain S. Rice; 10th (North Otago) Company, Captain D. H. S. Buddle; 14th (South Otago) Company, Major D. Colquhoun; Battalion Quartermaster, Lieut. A. P. McCormack.

2nd Battalion.—Officer Commanding, Lieut.-Colonel A, Moore, D.S.O.; Second-in-Command, Major J. A. Mackenzie; Adjutant, Captain D. E. Bremner; 4th (Otago) Company, Major G. S. Smith, D.S.O.; 8th (Southland) Company, Captain W. G. Wray; 10th (North Otago) Company, Major D. B. McKenzie; 14th (South Otago) Company, Captain L. S. Jennings; Battalion Quartermaster, Captain H. R. Ker.

On the night of April 5th the Regiment took the first step in the direction of severing its connection with the land of the Pharaohs. This was the entraining of the 1st Battalion at Ismailia for Port Said, where, on the following day, the greater part of its strength stepped aboard the Franconia, a small proportion being allotted to the Ingomia. The 2nd Battalion of the Regiment entrained at Moascar on April 8th, arriving at Alexandria on the following morning andpage 82 embarking on the Llandovery Castle. The 1st Battalion arrived at Marseilles on April 13th; three days later the 2nd Battalion had also reached its destination in France.

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