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page vii


black and white photograph of government seal

By Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Freyberg,
vc, gcmg, kcb, kbe, dso, lld.

I feel honoured to have been invited to write a foreword to the History of Chaplains who served with the New Zealand Forces in the Middle East and the Pacific.

The volume itself covers a vital period of world history. The Reverend Mr. Underhill has done his work well, and his observations are always worth reading. Some of his views are criticisms of the military system in war, but his comments are always fair and his suggestions constructive.

I was particularly interested in what he had to say on such difficult problems as ‘compulsory Church services’, ‘grousing’, and the all-important question of ‘morale’. Some of us may not be fully in accord with his attitude towards our spiritual unpreparedness for war. Personally, I have always felt that the division of opinion within the Church itself was unfortunate, and that some of the sermons on compulsory military training did not help. However, that is now of the past.

Some reference is made by the writer to the assistance given to Chaplains by the GOC, and for the information of readers I may say that it was my practice to help the Chaplains as far as I was able, knowing, as a regimental soldier in the last war, what lay ahead of us, and the need for religion and the value of the Unit Padre.

page viii

I take this opportunity of expressing my sincere appreciation of the great work of New Zealand Chaplains of all denominations. They were a fine team, and their untiring efforts were of untold value and did much to sustain and comfort our men during the critical stages of the war.

black and white photograph of signature of Bernard Freyburg

General Officer Commanding,
2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force