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Influence of the GOC

Influence of the GOC

One circumstance dominated the life of the Chaplains' Department and was instrumental in solving all difficulties. This was the continued and active sympathy of the General Officer Commanding, 2nd NZEF, General Freyberg. He attended an early chaplains' conference and let it be known then, and on many subsequent occasions, that he wanted his chaplains to have all reasonable help, and moreover, that they were to consider themselves free at any time to approach him either personally or through the Senior Chaplain. The Senior Chaplain often reported how constant was the GOC's interest, and this powerful support had a far-reaching effect. When a chaplain met man-made difficulties or felt that he was receiving unfair treatment, he realised that he always had a friendly source of appeal and could, if necessary, bring a reprimand upon some officer. On one occasion at least the Senior Chaplain ‘brought down the wrath of God’ upon some offending commander, but generally the knowledge of the GOC's sympathy was sufficient in itself. For the chaplains would put up with temporary obstructions, being confident, and rightly confident, that under such leadership in the 2nd NZEF common sense was eventually bound to prevail.