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Base Wallahs: Story of the units of the base organisation, NZEF IP


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Base Wallahs is an attempt to give those interested in the Third New Zealand Division some idea of the work done by the men who were selected to remain at base. Its chapters each represent the life story of one unit, and since they have had to be limited to an average of 2,000 words each, are entirely inadequate.

To the contributors, whom we were forced to ask to write the history of their units in the space taken up by an average letter, we offer our apologies. It was obviously impossible in such a meagre quota to do more than give a faint impression of the work their unit did. The colossal quantities of stores and equipment handled, the acres of buildings erected, the almost astronomical figures in road mileages covered—all such statistical data has received little more than passing mention.

It is felt, however, that the interested reader will realise that behind each sketchy narrative lies evidence of a story of consistent and monotonous work, unrelieved by the excitement of action, and almost unrecognised except by those who, by virtue of their associations and appointments could appreciate the magnitude of the task with which the base was charged. In this regard I was especially privileged. These units were my responsibility. I saw them at work daily, listened to their grumbles, and joined in their revels. More than any other person in the force I was in the position to appreciate the difficulties surmounted and the conditions under which they lived.

They were good soldiers, possessed the team spirit at times almost to excess, and evinced always an inordinate capacity for hard work. It was this last characteristic which was, I think, mainly responsible for the splendid record of achievements set up by the base units. They have reason to be proud, as I am, of the job of work they did.