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Standing orders 1914-1918

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Standing orders 1914-1918

This booklet belonged to Charles Peter Hamilton Neilson, a farmer of Awahou North who fought in World War One. The donors purchased the Neilson farm and found this and other articles in the house.  Charles (born 1886, died 1929) enlisted in the New Zealand army in February 1917.

In July 1917 he embarked as part of the 28th Reinforcements for France with the Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company, rank: private. He served in France from November 1917 with 3 1/2 months sick leave (late Dec 1917 - Feb 1918, Aug - early Sept 1918), returning to New Zealand in August 1919.

Military standing orders are a directive from the military commander, binding on all personnel under their command. They include standard operating procedures for military personnel. This booklet has instructions for the mounting and relieving of guards, sentry duties, dress regulations, the layout for one's kit, and the daily timetable to be followed for billets and camps.

Booklet of Standing Orders for the Wellington Regiment during World War One, 1914 - 1918. Small 28 page booklet with yellow card hardcovers. Published by the NZ Div. PressContents include:

  • guard mounting
  • guard marching on to Regimental Parade Ground
  • relieving a guard
  • reliefs - posting sentries, relieving sentries
  • orders for N.C.O. of the guard
  • standing orders for quarter guard
  • orders for all sentries
  • special orders for N.C.O. in charge of the guard: prisoners
  • march discipline
  • dress regulations - drill order, musketry order, full marching order, heavy marching order, fighting order, working party order, walking out dress, clean fatigue dress, church parade order, general
  • laying out of kits in billets and camps
  • routine to be observed in billets and camps unless Special Orders to the Contrary are issued drill
     

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Brass "Service Wounded" Stripe

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Brass "Service Wounded" Stripe

Wounded stripes were an innovation of 1916 and followed a suggestion made by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that wounding should be recognised by some distinction. To receive the stripe, each soldier needed to have been listed in the casualty returns as 'wounded'

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Commemorative Scarves - "Fall In" and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

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Commemorative Scarves - "Fall In" and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

Cambridge Museum, N.Z. notes that items like these are "characteristic of the souvenirs made and sold cheaply, and easily transportable either by mail or in the post, during World War One. Such mementos were sold at both locations of the war effort: close to war zones where soldiers could buy them; and at home, appealing to families who might retain them as a keepsake of a loved one or post them overseas."

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Condolence Letters

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Condolence Letters

"We were resting for a few minutes on what is known as Rhododendron Ridge when the Turks began to shell us and a piece of shrapnel struck your son on the head, it knocked him unconscious. ... I can assure you he never knew what hit him...."

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Shoe Bag, Egypt 1914 - 1918

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Shoe Bag, Egypt 1914 - 1918

This shoe bag is typical of the embroidered items that were sold in the Egyptian bazaars to soldiers in World War I. These were very popular during the First World War due to their colourful nature and the fact they were easy to fold and post home.  Soldiers bought them while travelling to or from the Western Front (via Egypt) or while they were serving or training in Egypt.

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Autograph Book 1913 - 1922

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Autograph Book 1913 - 1922

This autograph book includes many signatures from members of the New Zealand Medical Corps housed at the Awapuni (Racecourse) Camp during World War I. There are also autographs from Victor and Horace Cunninghame of the Collinson & Cunninghame department store, Palmerston North.

This autograph book comes from the donor’s grandmother, Annie Mabel Watson, nee Lumley, born 21 Oct 1900, died November 1999. She was the daughter of Charles and Sarah Jane Lumley. Her parents ran a general store in Ashhurst.

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Trench Periscope

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Trench Periscope

Periscopes like these were produced in World War I so soldiers could view out of trenches without having to put their heads over the parapets and risk being shot.

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Water Flask/Canteen 1914-1918

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Water Flask/Canteen 1914-1918

This canteen is a standard issue World War I water bottle for British troops, known as a Mark VI bottle of a 1903 pattern. They were made in blue enamel to indicate they were for water; the khaki woollen felt cover was used to hide the enamel and prevent reflection and noise.

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Slouch hat for the "6th N.Z. Manawatu Mounted Rifles" 1916

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Slouch hat for the "6th N.Z. Manawatu Mounted Rifles" 1916

The MRH or slouch hat originated with the Alexandra Troop of the Wanganui Cavalry Volunteers, named after the Princess of Wales, Alexandra, in 1864. It saw service in the land wars and later in South Africa during the Boer War when they were known as the Alexandra Mounted Rifles.  Their hat became general issue just before World War One, and in the first New Zealand action - the 1914 invasion of German Samoa, the MRH was worn by most soldiers.  

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Wall hanging  or cushion cover for the Manawatu Mounted Rifles

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Wall hanging or cushion cover for the Manawatu Mounted Rifles

These souvenirs were easy to customise because they utilised a chain stitch that was created by a small hand held, free standing machine that was readily manipulated to produce any design. Some souvenirs also included a small fabric 'frame' into which a photograph could be added by the buyer.  It was also possible for the customer to design the souvenir completely, in which case it would have to be ordered and collected later on.

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French Franc Identity Tag

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French Franc Identity Tag

Soldiers commissioned personal tags to be made in case their official tags became illegible through wear or damage. This example was crafted from a piece of French currency - making it an example of war art in addition to its practical function. 

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The Athenian Lyre

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The Athenian Lyre

Of the 111 troopships sent from New Zealand, 88 are known to have produced magazines.  This magazine was produced on the Athenic, in its first voyage as a troop ship, and as one of the first troopships to leave New Zealand.

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The "Digger's" Field Writing Pad - Large

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The "Digger's" Field Writing Pad - Large

"[A]ctive service / military duties can make it difficult to write letters. The Diggers Field Writing Pad has been issued to facilitate letter writing, is supplied free, with refills available at any branch of the NZ YMCA.

The average soldier does not realise fully just how eagerly his letters are looked for and it is hoped this pad will make it easier for him to keep in touch with the Home Folk"

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