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4th Oct 2013 11:34AMThis bleak unlovely prison, Sling, is the chief New Zealand training camp.
It is situated 12 miles from the Cathedral town of Salisbury, and 2 miles
from the railhead at Bulford, in the heart of the Salisbury Plains, which
by-the-way are not plains at all but rolling undulating downs.
The huts are quite comfortable and each is heated by a Canadian Stove. The
food is good and well cooked and large Canteens supply extras if you have
the money to pay for them. The chief article sold at the canteens is beer
and in the summer evenings the boys fill their dixies at the counter and
then sit outside on the grass in the cool of the evening quaffing their ale
and spinning yarns. Darkness does not fall till after 10.00 pm. There is
very little drunkenness seen and the wet canteens are certainly a success.
In New Zealand camps intoxicating liquors are not sold in the canteens hence
when the troops are out of the camp bounds they go 'all out' and make an
orgy of it, first getting in the singing stage, then the fighting stage and
finishing up in the paralytic stage. The Military Authorities at home are
apparently afraid to make the canteen 'wet' because of the strong
Prohibitionist protests that would be made, still I think it is a mistaken
I suppose Sling has its good points but they are certainly outweighed by
its bad ones. One feels that one is in the vice-like grip of a harsh,
remorseless, soulless military system. We are made to look, and feel, the
veriest tyros. We are deprived of our re-inforcement badges and look
exceedingly slovenly in our dress. Only men who have been on active service
in France of Gallipoli are allowed to wear badges and they of course wear
the proper regimental ones and bright 'battalion patches' between the
shoulders on the back. We might as well be in civilian clothes, the
distinction is so apparent.

((I hope this resume may give you an inkling of the conditions that our
soldiers struck at the beginning of their sojourn in the Army during WW!.))
Best Regards
Paul DARRALL in Hamilton
4th Oct 2013 11:24AMThis camp was built 12 months ago for the NZ main body - but they never came here but went to France instead. We live in huts & have mess rooms. Everything is very convenient. It is all like Trentham & Featherston. At present we are the only NZ's here but the --ths will be here in a week. All the rest are Tommies. It is a huge camp.

About 3 miles from here is an aviation school & every morning & evening there are at least 6 aeroplanes flying about. Already we are used to them & don't run out to see them. They kick up a row don't they? It's great to see them though. Bye the bye, just before we got into Plymouth we saw an airship. It was a huge thing but I don't suppose it would be a Zeppelin for it was well down & there were a number of destroyers about. After a bit it rose & went above the clouds.

Today being Sunday we had from 9 am off & as we can go 5 miles in any direction without a pass we decided to go to Stonehenge which is about that distance away. In doing so we passed through several villages & by Jove they are pretty & picturesque aren't they? I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Of course everything is at it best. Stonehenge is just like you see in postcards. There is no more of it either. It is marvellous about getting the stones put up isn't it? We had a policeman telling us all about it & pointed all the interesting stones. You know all about their religion & sun's connection with it. I suppose.
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Sling Camp

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